Bit of help needed.


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Hello,
Ive joined to ask for help! I hope thats not considered rude, but I'm overwhelmed with the choices out there and need advice from keyboard players! I am an absolute keyboard virgin!
I am a pianist, classical and not much else really! I just have an upright piano at the mo. But, I have a love of ska and reggae and really want a keyboard which has a decent piano sound but also has a kind-of hammond organ/theatre organ sound. I have been asked to join a band and need a keyboard asap!
I have a small budget, so second hand would be great, any ideas/advice most welcome.
Ginnie Rich.
 
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I've just been having a read of other questions and someone has mentioned a Roland Fantom has a Hammond sound .. is there a particular model? or any of the Fantoms- I've seen a few! (oh god, i really am rubbish aren't I? ) x
 

SeaGtGruff

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I searched in the patch lists for some of the Fantom models, but couldn't find "Hammond" mentioned in them, so those patches/presets probably have names that are more generic, such as "60's Org." Anyway, I suspect that any of the Fantom models probably share the same basic sounds (patches/presets) as each other, although they might not have exactly all of the same ones. You can download their patch lists from Roland's web site: http://www.rolandus.com/support/owners_manuals/ (click on "F-G" to see the links for the various Fantom models).
 
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Great.

Now, some more questions if it's OK.

1. Does the action have to be fully weighted or "hammer action", in other words, like a piano - that heavier key feel. Or would you be satisified with a "synth-action" keybed, which is much lighter, the keys offer far less resistance. A weighted action keyboard will generally a) have 88 keys, b) be heavier, c) be more expensive.
2. Following on from 1. above - do you need to have 88 keys, or would you be satisfied with 76/73/61 keys? Again, a reasonable generalisation is less keys, less weight, less expense.
3. Have you given some thought as to how the audience will hear you, and how you'll hear yourself on stage? Does the band own a PA that they intend to put your keyboard through, or will the venue/s you play at? What will use for a personal monitor so you can hear yourself? Do you own your own speaker/amp/PA?
4. May help us work through 3. What kind of gigs are you intending to play?

Hope that's not too confusing, or from the opposite point of view, I'm not coming across as treating you like an idiot. Just not sure what your level of knowledge about these things is and don't want to assume.

The more info you can provide about 1. and 2. the more relevant recommendations you'll get. Your budget actually gives you quite a bit of choice, it's maybe not as small as you think. Good quality keyboard gear is not necessarily expensive if you're prepared to compromised on some aspects. And one of those doesn't have to be sound.

However I'm worried you may also need to invest in an amp or powered monitor. When I say "worried", it's no big deal, but just means it will eat into your budget.

Cheers!
 
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Now, some more questions if it's OK.

1. Does the action have to be fully weighted or "hammer action", in other words, like a piano - that heavier key feel. Or would you be satisified with a "synth-action" keybed, which is much lighter, the keys offer far less resistance. A weighted action keyboard will generally a) have 88 keys, b) be heavier, c) be more expensive.
2. Following on from 1. above - do you need to have 88 keys, or would you be satisfied with 76/73/61 keys? Again, a reasonable generalisation is less keys, less weight, less expense.
3. Have you given some thought as to how the audience will hear you, and how you'll hear yourself on stage? Does the band own a PA that they intend to put your keyboard through, or will the venue/s you play at? What will use for a personal monitor so you can hear yourself? Do you own your own speaker/amp/PA?
4. May help us work through 3. What kind of gigs are you intending to play?

Hope that's not too confusing, or from the opposite point of view, I'm not coming across as treating you like an idiot. Just not sure what your level of knowledge about these things is and don't want to assume.

The more info you can provide about 1. and 2. the more relevant recommendations you'll get. Your budget actually gives you quite a bit of choice, it's maybe not as small as you think. Good quality keyboard gear is not necessarily expensive if you're prepared to compromised on some aspects. And one of those doesn't have to be sound.

However I'm worried you may also need to invest in an amp or powered monitor. When I say "worried", it's no big deal, but just means it will eat into your budget.

Cheers![/QUOTE]

Hello,
Thank you for your time with this, i'm very grateful! And NO WORRIES asking me idiot questions- I feel like one!!
Ok- yes I do want weighted keys and 88 of them!
Also, the band I have been approached by have so much equipment and will be playing large venues, so they have amps, PA and even sound technicians etc. They are all currently out of the country and will be back in march, I am hoping to have a keyboard by then to at least 'appear' like I know what im doing! (ouch). They have keyboards as part of their kit, but I need one for myself to work stuff out on, compose and generally get my head around it!
Bear in mind I am a classically trained pianist and so a non-weighted keyboard would probably put me off I think.
Sorry to be so ignorant- I've never been near an instrument that has an ON switch on it!
Love Ginnie x
 

happyrat1

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You might want to tour a few music shops and try out a few of the in store models to see what you'd like. I'd think what you'd be looking for is a Stage Piano rather than a Workstation or Arranger so as not to be overwhelmed by the technology.

Suggestions might include the Casio Privia PX-5S, Kurzweil SP-4 or SP-5, or a used Nord Stage for starters.

If new retail is outside your budget then there's always the Craigslist listings for your area where you might find some lovingly used equipment for a decent price.

Pretty much all modern electronic stage pianos will have at the very least the General MIDI soundset and at least a couple of organ voices.

Then again the real Hammond Purists will bend over backward to get an authentic B3 Sound and you might have to add an effects box like a Neo Ventilator Pedal to get that real Leslie speaker effect.

Anyway, 800 UK Pounds is not a whole lot of money to play with in a case like this but you should be able to find something among the options I've listed.

Hope this helps ;)

Gary
 
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Thank you for your time with this, i'm very grateful!
No worries Ginnie,

You should get a quite a few responses now.

I agree with Gary you're probably looking at a stage piano, you can afford a decent one with your budget if you go second hand. Generally, stage pianos are easy to use and by definition will have decent piano sounds and should do a fair job of organ too.

The ones he suggested above are all worth a look at, you could also try a Korg SV1.

Definitely test a few out in a music shop too if you're able. Particularly as you want to feel the action.

Cheers!
 
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Sorry
You might want to tour a few music shops and try out a few of the in store models to see what you'd like. I'd think what you'd be looking for is a Stage Piano rather than a Workstation or Arranger so as not to be overwhelmed by the technology.

Suggestions might include the Casio Privia PX-5S, Kurzweil SP-4 or SP-5, or a used Nord Stage for starters.

If new retail is outside your budget then there's always the Craigslist listings for your area where you might find some lovingly used equipment for a decent price.

Pretty much all modern electronic stage pianos will have at the very least the General MIDI soundset and at least a couple of organ voices.

Then again the real Hammond Purists will bend over backward to get an authentic B3 Sound and you might have to add an effects box like a Neo Ventilator Pedal to get that real Leslie speaker effect.

Anyway, 800 UK Pounds is not a whole lot of money to play with in a case like this but you should be able to find something among the options I've listed.

Hope this helps ;)

Gary
I think the phrase 'so not to be overwhelmed by the technology' is the key! Thanks, I am looking at the ones you suggested and I think im going to go for a second hand Nord! But, i'm going to do a shop tour this weekend as well. Thank you so much x
 
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No worries Ginnie,

You should get a quite a few responses now.

I agree with Gary you're probably looking at a stage piano, you can afford a decent one with your budget if you go second hand. Generally, stage pianos are easy to use and by definition will have decent piano sounds and should do a fair job of organ too.

The ones he suggested above are all worth a look at, you could also try a Korg SV1.

Definitely test a few out in a music shop too if you're able. Particularly as you want to feel the action.

Cheers!
A stage piano does seem to be the best idea. I had a look at some Roland workstations and got a headache, although I would be prepared to persevere and learnt, but I don't know how necessary it would actually be!
Thank you again! x
 
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happyrat1

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Let us know which one you finally choose and your personal reasons why... ;)

Gary
 

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