Help Choosing the right keyboard for gigging guitarist


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I am looking for a keyboard to use in live performances. I play in a cover band so it should have reasonably good sound engines. I play mostly “greatest hits” in Pop, Rock, country, Funk, 80’s hits, etc. Here are key features would like:
Gig worthy
The ability to add sounds (libraries, patches, etc.)
The ability to play chords via a MIDI foot controller (While I play guitar, I’d like to play accompanying sounds with my feet)
USB / Computer interface for easier programing, downloading updates, backing up setting, etc.

I am primarily a guitar player, who doubles on simple piano. Basically chords, synth sounds, etc. I’ve been looking at Kronos, but I’d I wonder if that’s getting phased out with Nautulis coming out, and I’d like to hear about some alternatives I’m not aware of.

Thanks for any suggestions
 
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happyrat1

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For your current needs a Kronos sounds like massive overkill.

You could probably accomplish 95% of your needs with a Roland Juno DS61 or 76.

But if you have your heart set on blowing gobs of money do take a close look at Yamaha Montage, Roland Fantom 8 or FA08, or Korg Kronos or Nautilus or Kurzweil PC4.

Check out the youtube videos on each of these as well as the chatter on some of the gear forums. And then when you've narrowed it down, check out the touch and feel at a music shop.

Gary ;)
 
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For your current needs a Kronos sounds like massive overkill.

You could probably accomplish 95% of your needs with a Roland Juno DS61 or 76.

But if you have your heart set on blowing gobs of money do take a close look at Yamaha Montage, Roland Fantom 8 or FA08, or Korg Kronos or Nautilus or Kurzweil PC4.

Check out the youtube videos on each of these as well as the chatter on some of the gear forums. And then when you've narrowed it down, check out the touch and feel at a music shop.

Gary ;)
Thanks Gary!
 
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For your current needs a Kronos sounds like massive overkill.

You could probably accomplish 95% of your needs with a Roland Juno DS61 or 76.

But if you have your heart set on blowing gobs of money do take a close look at Yamaha Montage, Roland Fantom 8 or FA08, or Korg Kronos or Nautilus or Kurzweil PC4.

Check out the youtube videos on each of these as well as the chatter on some of the gear forums. And then when you've narrowed it down, check out the touch and feel at a music shop.

Gary ;)
Thanks Gary. That’s exactly the input I was looking for
 
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Welcome.

In answer to your phased out Kronos concern, we do not know what is going to happen with Korg. I watch a live Korg UK broadcast every month where the staff showcase a particular range of keyboards and the Sales guy has drip fed a little info in expect an exciting year ahead with Korg products.

Recently Korg have released updated models as have Roland but these have mainly been synths so they are not resting on their laurels and keeping a degree of freshness in their product ranges.

As for the Nautilus if it follows Korg’s usual pathway it will be three or more months before it gets into the showrooms. Thereafter probably about this time next year I would expect the price to drop by about 15%, this has happened with new Korg models for the last five years.

Many workstations are getting on in design and that includes the Kronos, FA and Juno DS. So if you buy one if these soon you run the risk of it being replaced potentially as early as Q1 2021.

On paper probably the best bang for bucks is the Kurzweil, I would love to get my hands on one but sadly they are few and far between here in England.
 
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happyrat1

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To be honest Col, I think the fear of buying the discontinued is muchly overblown... :p

If you always hold out for the latest and greatest you'll never really know what you're getting until it ships and you have to live thru interminable firmware updates and the learning curve and chances are, it probably WILL be obsolete by the time you master it.

Personally I'm on a hiatus from buying any more synths.

As it is, I can produce a reasonable facsimile of almost any musical sound you could imagine with my aging equipment and what I'm hearing these days is more incremental than generational in progress.

A workstation is pretty much a workstation no matter how you slice it and there are still bands out there touring with ancient Motifs that still get the job done nicely.

I no longer buy the latest and greatest. I'll happily wait year or two for bargains to appear on craigslist and reverb and other used sites.

There's plenty of primo, first class, vintage equipment out there that the latest adopters have grown bored with that can be had for a song these days.

Working bands and studios are selling off gear right and left these days in order to pay the rent.

The tragedy of covid unemployment is creating opportunities for gear buyers.

Gary ;)
 
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I don't really have a specific suggestion because I'm not sure what would and would not provide "the ability to play chords via a MIDI foot controller." I suspect that Kronos can, because it has a way to do virtual pad assignment, and you can probably trigger those virtual pads with something lke a Behringer FCB1010. But as I just said in another thread, to answer your Kronos/Nautilus question, "So far, I don't see any reason to get a Nautilus over a Kronos except for it being cheaper. If the budget supports it, Kronos is a similar but more capable board." I also think Gary is right that either is probably more than you need, but if you have the budget and like to get the best whether you need it or not, Kronos is certainly a viable option. The Fantom looks appealing to me as well. But there are also numerous less expensive options that might well do everything you need.
 
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Scott

Yes, I agree with you but just pointing out to the Op that if they do get a model that may be surpassed as early as late January then support could become a little erratic.

As it is for their use what you have in your Korg PA1000 or even the 700 model will do what they want. The whole Korg Triton bank of sounds can be loaded and if they cannot find what sound they seek for the songs that they play in the Triton collection I would be surprised.

That said the PA4X would be better due to onboard HD and larger onboard memory and yes the Triton collection can be loaded and unlike other manufacturers with Korg bonusware its free.
 
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As it is for their use what you have in your Korg PA1000 or even the 700 model will do what they want.
Very likely. As could, most likely, the Juno DS that Gary suggested.

The whole Korg Triton bank of sounds can be loaded {into the PA700/PA1000/PA4X}
I wasn't aware of that. I don't see it on Korg's web site, I must be looking in the wrong place. Do you have a link for the download file?

unlike other manufacturers with Korg bonusware its free.
That's an unfair statement. Plenty of other manufacturers offer free sound expansions. And Korg themselves use both approaches... they had free soundpacks for my SV1, but they charge for most of the soundpacks for the Kronos (see https://shop.korg.com/kronos ).

Roland also uses a mix... everything on Axial is free, the ones on Zenology are not. The Axial ones (at http://axial.roland.com/ ) cover lots of models, including all the SRX expansions for the Fantom, Juno DS, and FA.

Yamaha also uses a mix, there's been a good amount of free downloadable content for MODX/Montage, but also some you have to pay for. (Same with the earlier Motif XF/MOXF.)

Nord sounds have all been free, and their offerings have always be extensive and expanding, that's part of their thing.
 
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Keep in mind that the Kronos takes close to 2 minutes to boot up (or at least it used to). In the event you lose power and have to restart the keyboard you're dead in the water for two minutes. My Kurzweil take about 10 seconds to boot up. Something to keep in mind.
 
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I wasn't aware of that. I don't see it on Korg's web site, I must be looking in the wrong place. Do you have a link for the download file?
Scott

They are certainly on Korg UK's Bonusware site


Triton sounds are in four files plus a Best Off Selection file

One of the Webinars that I keep suggesting to those who have a Korg Arranger or who are thinking about one has a who episode on loading and using Triton sounds if memory serves me correctly.

As for expansion in Roland's it is a case of ifs and buts, some are limited in what can be added, ie you have to remove some to add more or even buy an add on board. so any Roland purchase requires better research. The limited expamsion and old design certainly put me off an FA.
 
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Thanks for the link, Biggles. I then saw U.S. has them too, but you have to know where to look. Info about the bonusware does not come up anywhere on either the PA1000 page nor the PA1000 Downloads page. You have to go to Korg's "All About Arrangers" page.
As for expansion in Roland's it is a case of ifs and buts, some are limited in what can be added, ie you have to remove some to add more or even buy an add on board. so any Roland purchase requires better research. The limited expamsion and old design certainly put me off an FA.
Sure, there are lots of variations in what can be loaded into different keyboards, whether from Korg or anyone else. It varies not so much brand to brand as model by model. So yes, the Roland DS requires you to remove one expansion set to load another, while the FA lets you load two before you have to remove one to install another... but both still have a lot more factory sound upgrade options than the competitive Korg Kross and Krome. So again, I have to say that the ability to load new/additional sounds vary based on the individual model, not by the brand. Korg doesn't have any inherent advantage over Roland or Yamaha here, you'd have to look at the specific models.
 
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Scott
The Korg websites are not the easiest to navigate.

Even to find updates, bonusware, the Osimo songbook sets, the very useful Songbook Editor software all have to be found via a Google search or else an aweful lot of clicking on the Korg website
 
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Delaware Dave you solved a mystery for me. Years ago I attended a jazz festival. Keyboardist Brian Simpson was in the band backing a guitar player. At one point the guitarist was moving around the stage and accidentally stumbled disconnecting the power cord to Brian's keyboard. Several minutes went by before he was able to play again.
 
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