First keyboard is an 88key Juno DS, what should my second be


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Hi all

In a nutshell, I’m looking for a second keyboard for three reasons. First is the 80s band I am in requires me to have lots of splits and layers and two keyboards would make life more comfortable and give me more octaves per split.

The second reason is, as you all know, the Hammond sound is non existent on the DS.

The third is my DS is weighted and some parts I play would be much better on a synth action keybed.

My current plan is to purchase a Ferrofish 4000 with a cheap 61 key midi controller with synth action. This is a cheap, lightweight option that resolves my problems, however I do want to think about the future.

My question is, is there anything else I may struggle to achieve on the DS in the future that a second keyboard could resolve? Am I limiting my options with a ferrofish, and is there an alternative that would leave me with a decent ‘amateur’ set up for most scenarios that isn’t a pricey Nord?

Thanks
 
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Cheap 61 key MIDI controllers can be real pieces of shxxte, indifferent action with limited feel and inconsistent sound volume and very questionable build quality. I would avoid any sub £200 MIDI controller, and the best keybed action that I found was the old Roland A800 which is c£250, yes it is subjective but I have tried rather a lot.

Here in the UK a Ferrofish 4000 is c£350 add to that a reasonable MIDI keyboard and you are over £500 out of pocket and for a bit more cash you could have a Korg Kross 2 61 for £575

If organ tones are a prime motivator then look at the keyboard that I have, Fatar semi weighted keybed, 88 keys, drawbars and it only cost me £530, it has great piano and organ tones and being equipped with drawbars the range of tones it can produce is infinite a Numa Compact 2X. You can also connect up an iPad and have a whole gamut of additional sounds.

Or

For additional sound palettes at extra cost then a Yamaha MODX or Korg Krome Ex will open up a vast library for you from different manufacturers.
 
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and is there an alternative that would leave me with a decent ‘amateur’ set up for most scenarios that isn’t a pricey Nord?
Better than a Ferrofish+cheap controller as an organ would be the Roland VR-09B (or if you find one, its predecessor, VR-09).

If you need better MIDI controller functions, you could stick with your idea of getting a controller, but you could get better sounds than the Ferrofish if you attached an iPad running B-3X. As long as you choose a controller that has 9 sliders, you'd still have drawbar control.

Here in the UK a Ferrofish 4000 is c£350 add to that a reasonable MIDI keyboard and you are over £500 out of pocket and for a bit more cash you could have a Korg Kross 2 61 for £575
OTOH, the Kross is not so great for organ sounds, I'm not sure it's any better than what he has (and is dissatisfied with) in his Juno DS. It certainly doesn't provide the drawbar programmability or controllability of the Ferrofish. But I think your suggestion of the Numa Compact 2X could be another good way to go. I prefer the organ and synth of the VR-09 but the Numa is stronger as a MIDI controller and also has aftertouch.
 
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As someone who has owned and played Hammonds, I am not a fan of the Ferrofish module. The Ipad running B-3X App is too good
an option to ignore. You can get a used Ipad Air 2, and the app for about the same price as the Ferrofish and have other players asking you what you are using for that Hammond sound. Just my thoughts. YMMV Don aka B3maniac
 
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Better than a Ferrofish+cheap controller as an organ would be the Roland VR-09B (or if you find one, its predecessor, VR-09).
I just checked out a video on the Roland VR-09B and it got me quite excited. This certainly ticks all boxes. No weighted, has half decent organ sounds (good enough for what I'm doing) and a great keyboard for live situations. I think with this and the Juno I would have a pretty good budget set up.

OTOH, the Kross is not so great for organ sounds, I'm not sure it's any better than what he has (and is dissatisfied with) in his Juno DS.

Whilst I really appreciate Biggles help, I think you might be right here. When I got the Juno it was between the 88 Key Korg Kross or the Juno as they were fairly similar in price and in what they can achieve (correct me if I'm wrong).

I will keep looking but so far the Roland VR-09 is definitely looking like a plausible option - thank you!
 
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As someone who has owned and played Hammonds, I am not a fan of the Ferrofish module. The Ipad running B-3X App is too good
an option to ignore. You can get a used Ipad Air 2, and the app for about the same price as the Ferrofish and have other players asking you what you are using for that Hammond sound. Just my thoughts. YMMV Don aka B3maniac
I saw this just after I said I'd like to avoid using the iPad. I suppose I get nervous about having something else that can easily go wrong on stage. Thank you though, I'll look into it!!
 
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I saw this just after I said I'd like to avoid using the iPad. I suppose I get nervous about having something else that can easily go wrong on stage. Thank you though, I'll look into it!!
I think that the Roland VR-09 is miles better than the Ferrofish. I have an Ipad loaded with mostly music related Apps. There are Apps which are just too good to ignor (such as Ravenscroft 275 piano, B-3X , Korg Module) and Apps are getting more popular. I admit I've always been a hardware guy , but I'm also learning more about Ipad Apps and was experimenting with Ipad live play at weekly open mic before the pandemic shut them down. My unscientific opinion is that the Ipad can do the job well, and with no problem if you manage the CPU usage and keep the Ipad connected to a power strip. I was thinking of using B-3X with my MOXF rig (which has usb midi and an internal stereo A/D converter), but no reason to move ahead with no gigs on the horizon. Don
 
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When I got the Juno it was between the 88 Key Korg Kross or the Juno as they were fairly similar in price and in what they can achieve (correct me if I'm wrong).
They each have their pros and cons, but there are also similarities. They both use samples for all their sounds. Kross advantages over Juno DS include having a full featured sequencer, better MIDI zoning functions for mixing internal and external sounds, and being lighter weight. Roland advantages include having more real-time controls, the ability to switch sounds without having previous held/decaying sounds cutoff, the ability to create new keyboard playable sounds from custom samples, and having better real-time split/layer functions. (For example, if you split the keyboard for left hand bass, you have readily available controls to easily independently change the volume and octaves of the sounds on either side of the split, or to choose a different right-hand sound on the fly without interrupting your left hand bass line.)
 
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Depending on WHERE you choose to buy an instrument, you can get pretty good organ sounds as an add on.

An example here in the USA would be Sweetwater. They offer all the major brands (we all know this), but for the Kross 2, Sweetwater also offers a MicroSD card that has organ configurations on it that use different controllers on the Kross 2 that allow for different organ drawbar settings. You can adjust them as well. They have gone through all of the programming for you so you do not have to program them on your own.

A friend recently bought a Kross 2-88 and she got the aforementioned MicroSD card that had B3 variations that she can use live. They have done a really good job with the programming of these sounds, according to my research.

You have a lot of choices. I used to have the Roland VR-09 and I used it in a Pink Floyd tribute band and it very easily handled all of the organ stuff I needed for that. It was a great keyboard for organ sounds. I sold it shortly after that project because I did not need it anymore.

Currently, I am using the Yamaha Reface YC as my organ module in a classic rock I am playing in. I also use the Behringer Deepmind-12 for organ sounds as well. I know it sounds weird to use an analog synth for an organ, but it really does sound good in a mix :) Between the Reface YC and the Deepmind-12, I have all of the organ sounds I want.

Yes, the Reface YC is small and only has 37 keys (and they're small), but most of the work I am doing for organ sounds are for comping anyway, and I can usually get in the octave I want straight away...

In fact, I bought all of the offerings in the Reface series, with the last two (the Reface DX and Reface CS) coming today. I have had the Reface YC and CP (the EP one) a couple of months ago and they work very well.

I also looked at the Numa Compact stuff before I got the Roland VR-09 back a few years ago, but ultimately chose the VR-09. It just seemed to sound better to me.

You have a lot of options and most keyboards these days really do have good organ sounds. If you really want to adjust the drawbars on the fly, then your choices are more limited. If you want a static organ sound with Leslie emulation, then any keyboard would probably work.

If I were a serious organ player and that was my primary instrument, I would certainly get the Crumar Mojo. It really speaks to me, but since I do not exclusively play organ, I do not need that level of instrument in my arsenal.

Grace,
Harry
 
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Depending on WHERE you choose to buy an instrument, you can get pretty good organ sounds as an add on.

An example here in the USA would be Sweetwater. They offer all the major brands (we all know this), but for the Kross 2, Sweetwater also offers a MicroSD card that has organ configurations on it that use different controllers on the Kross 2 that allow for different organ drawbar settings. You can adjust them as well. They have gone through all of the programming for you so you do not have to program them on your own.

A friend recently bought a Kross 2-88 and she got the aforementioned MicroSD card that had B3 variations that she can use live. They have done a really good job with the programming of these sounds, according to my research.

You have a lot of choices. I used to have the Roland VR-09 and I used it in a Pink Floyd tribute band and it very easily handled all of the organ stuff I needed for that. It was a great keyboard for organ sounds. I sold it shortly after that project because I did not need it anymore.

Currently, I am using the Yamaha Reface YC as my organ module in a classic rock I am playing in. I also use the Behringer Deepmind-12 for organ sounds as well. I know it sounds weird to use an analog synth for an organ, but it really does sound good in a mix :) Between the Reface YC and the Deepmind-12, I have all of the organ sounds I want.

Yes, the Reface YC is small and only has 37 keys (and they're small), but most of the work I am doing for organ sounds are for comping anyway, and I can usually get in the octave I want straight away...

In fact, I bought all of the offerings in the Reface series, with the last two (the Reface DX and Reface CS) coming today. I have had the Reface YC and CP (the EP one) a couple of months ago and they work very well.

I also looked at the Numa Compact stuff before I got the Roland VR-09 back a few years ago, but ultimately chose the VR-09. It just seemed to sound better to me.

You have a lot of options and most keyboards these days really do have good organ sounds. If you really want to adjust the drawbars on the fly, then your choices are more limited. If you want a static organ sound with Leslie emulation, then any keyboard would probably work.

If I were a serious organ player and that was my primary instrument, I would certainly get the Crumar Mojo. It really speaks to me, but since I do not exclusively play organ, I do not need that level of instrument in my arsenal.

Grace,
Harry
Some great stuff here, thank you. I am aware of Sweetwater but I am based in the UK so likely not an option for me. I think, considering other factors and needs outside of the organ requirements, the Roland VR-09 is really appealing to me. I may have to go and try one out when I'm able to.

This is still a very new world to me so all these other options are really great to hear about, it helps me broaden my general knowledge with equipment available. Thanks for your help.
 
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Roland VR-09

What is not to like about the roland, especially the £529 price and that it is in stock at PMT at their Liverpool depot and it is also in stock at Rimmers
 
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Roland VR-09

What is not to like about the roland, especially the £529 price and that it is in stock at PMT at their Liverpool depot and it is also in stock at Rimmers
I've actually managed to find it as little as £480 online :) pretty amazing. If I got my quarterly bonus at work I'm getting it - wish me luck :)
 

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