Getting back into it - FP30, DGX or Privia?


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Hi all, been long away from my piano - and spent tons of time reading all the reviews online and posts, but still undecided what I should be test-driving for my next purchase.

I currently have an Alesis QS8.1 - which I loved, but after 20 years, it is in need of replacement - here are my goals, and hopefully I can get some help on where to start:

1) Piano sounds and action (must be 88 keys) - as much as I thought I would use the multitude of sounds on the Alesis, I basically stuck to piano and string sounds - my initial visits have found that today there are tons of great options for piano, so while this is my number 1 - I am confident this is very achivable
2) Speakers - I currently have a bunch of cables to speakers to get sound - ideally I would like something with onboard speakers, that I can always expand on in the future
3) Sequencing - this doesn't have to be on the keyboard, I am very tech capable (and looking for a very tech capable piano), but need to ensure I can at least use a tablet/pc to record a backing drum track or strings/bass that I can play over

Budget is roughly $1300USD (under $2K Canadian)

Essentially, 80% of the time it will be a piano, but want to be able to record other midi tracks (likely 3-4 tracks) that I can then play over to simulate a full band in cases. I am totally happy to add this after with other equipment (and an additional cost) - just want to ensure that at some point I can add this capability.

I am really stuck on whether to go the digital piano route (fp-30, yamaha 115, E110), or the more technological route of the DGx-660 or privia px-360.

Thanks all for any help and guidance - after countless hours of reading, I thought it was best to just post a question ;)
 
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happyrat1

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All good choices though personally I avoid Yamaha because of their "my way or the highway" attitudes about operating systems and general compatibility. Also because they generally offer less bang for the buck than comparably priced Casios.

Then again another board to consider in that price range is the Roland Juno DS88. Best bang for the buck out there these days in mid-low range by price.

My advice, if you live near a large city is to go out to the stores and test drive these.

Failing that, I'd suggest visiting websites like Soundcloud and Youtube and listening to any demos of these boards that you might find.

Gary ;)
 
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Welcome.

I agree with Gary avoid Yamaha.

The Roland Juno DS 88 is a great keyboard, only one thing with it in that it does not have onboard speakers, but please do not discount it because of that.

For a keyboard with onboard sound you will be looking at either a digital piano or an arranger, now the arrangers in your price range have only 61 keys, so that limits it to a digital piano if onboard sound is a must have.

Slightly above budget is the Korg Krome, but as it is way more than the Juno it shows how much bang for bucks you could get, add a keyboard amp of powered speakers to the Juno and you are well under budget.

Another Korg but this time the Kross which is at the same price point as the Juno, which is more suitable for you depends upon which has the better sounds that you normally use, with both makes the individual instrument sounds can be very easily customised to your needs. Be warned though Korg menu system takes some getting used to but once mastered it is quick to do what you want.

For both the above Korg have their Video Manual video tutorials on Youtube and Roland have their equivalent but they are listed as being by Product Support. The Korg tutorials are better laid out but the sheer number and available detail of the Roland ones are brilliant.

For your sequencing requirements do your research on digital pianos and their actual connectivity since workstations do seem more suited to connect to a computer

If you can visit a large music store to have a good play, I am lucky I have about a dozen within a 1 hour drive but there again I live near Manchester and Liverpool in the UK.
 
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Thanks for the help - I had looked briefly at the Roland Juno, but due to the lack of self-contained speakers I dismissed it - perhaps I should revisit the requirement for speakers, since the Juno looks amazing.

After much more reading, I think my list to demo is:
Casio pvx360
Roland juno ds88
Korg Kross

.. And whatever else I find I guess..

Would a set of studio monitors work for output on the juno and/or am I smarter with an amp?

I currently have a very aged set of speakers and a small mixer that the Alesis and a mic are hooked into, however if I can lose the mixer it would be great.

Thanks for the feedback, and guidance, there's a lot of info out these forums are a great help due to people like you guys chiming in on questions.
 

happyrat1

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Studio monitors would work just fine with the Juno DS and it has a MIC input so you could lose the mixer as well.

Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

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Well that is a great help Gary! I am in Toronto, so LA Music is fairly close.

I already have a stand and stool from the Alesis, so I am guessing the monitors I saw you suggest in another thread would be all I need to get going?

Is a full PC still required for a DAW, or are there tablet options that offer at least some basic functions (and would they interface with the Roland for example)

Thanks for all the assistance, greatly appreciated!

JP
 
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A full PC is not required but you are better off with one since the alternative is an iPad and the app Garage Band is a free Apple app that works on both an iPad and an iPhone.

Cannot say what there is on an Android.

When you do go the DAW on a PC route do download the trial versions first and check them out as some are a bit arkward to set up.
 

happyrat1

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Refresh my memory as to which monitors I suggested in the other thread please.

Personally I use a pair of M-Audio BX5A's and a cheap subwoofer for my home studio.

However for good results on a budget you could get away with a pair of Amazon Edifier Powered Speakers.

https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=edifier powered speakers

If you really want full range tones however, you'll probably need to add a subwoofer.

I use one of these in my studio.

https://www.amazon.ca/Monoprice-108248-60-Watt-Powered-Subwoofer/dp/B009GUTJ34/

It will also depend on where you live and how soundproof your environment is.

If you're planning to gig with the board, though, then I'd recommend an amp.

As for DAWs, in my home studio I use a Desktop PC running Linux. In theory the DS can connect to almost any computer or tablet with a USB port.

If you plan to go tablet though, you are limited to iPads and Windows Tablets. Android tablets simply do not have the IO capabilities required to handle MIDI devices..

As for what works best and with which software? Your guess is as good as mine.

BTW, I live in Mississauga myself, right by Clarkson GO station. I own a DS61 which I had hooked up in my studio for a while but now have standing independently in the living room for practice sessions.

It is an amazingly capable little keyboard with so much potential.

Gary ;)
 
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Thanks for that, used cakewalk for years - so will have to re-educate on what is new.... Not an iOS person, so I guess it is back to the laptop for this purpose.

It is a shame nobody makes an android version of GarageBand, but from what I understand latency is the issue on Android devices....

Thanks again!
 
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Thanks Gary - I am going to start with the edified speakers to get going, since I can always use them for something else if I want in the future.

I will also plan on using a laptop to start - realistically I don't do a ton of recording, but love the ability to if required.

What DAW software runs on Linux? I have a dual boot laptop, so could use Windows or Linux if required....

After 20 years I am very rusty on setting these things up again, so appreciate the help.
 
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happyrat1

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Personally I'm still using Cakewalk 9.01 Home Studio running under WINE Windows Emulator in Linux.

Don't throw away your old software. Linux can bring it back from the dead :D :D :D

Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

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BTW, I use a special build of Linux called KXstudio that runs under Kubuntu as an addon set of packages. There is also Ubuntu Studio out there which will run concurrently.

Google these and you'll get an idea of how far Linux has come in Multimedia production these days,

Aside from a few native Linux DAWs like Rosegarden and Hydrogen and Muse there are a few Windows DAWs that will run under wine including older versions of Cakewalk and Reaper.

Msg me in private if you need any help setting up for Linux.

Gary ;)
 
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Perfect - I appreciate the offer, may be a few weeks before I get to setting up the DAW, but plan to demo and make a decision/purchase on the keyboard by next week...

Is there any reason to use WINE instead of running natively in windows?
 

happyrat1

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I despise Windows and all things Micro$haft. :p

I use Linux because it's FREE (as in beer), stable, reliable and relatively far less hackable by malware.

May Bill Gate$ slowly roast in eternal damnation :p

:D :D :D

Gary ;)
 
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Fair enough :)

Ordered those cables with the edifier speaker setup (went with the Bluetooth option in case I need to upgrade later they can be used for something else)... at least I can remove my mixer when they arrive tomorrow!
 

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