I am a beginner to the whole module/MIDI/etc world of keyboards. I need advice please


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Hello!
I have just joined this keyboard forum and therefore ill tell you a little about myself. I come from sunny Ireland and have been playing the piano since I was around 8 years old. I have my Grade 8 and play in a number of different bands including a beatles tribute band, a country showband,etc.

Although I gig a few times a week and am used to performing on stage, I am extremely unknowlegable when it comes to, well, anything other than just the standard stage piano and synth. Pretty much just what you get from an acoustic piano.

Even on this forum, I see a lot of talk about modules and MIDI controllers, etc etc etc. I would very much like to get into this side of the keyboards as to expand my knowledge of the more technical side of things but also so that it will hopefully enhance my performance aswell. It may also enable me to record some of my own compositions, etc. I find this whole stuff facinating and really want to get into it.

I just wonder if someone would be kind enough to give me advice on starting out on this whole side of things :) Like, i really dont know anything lol. For example, what should I get my hands on first..... and then explain what that is lol

I look forward to hearing from you :)
 
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Hello, I have been using modules and synths for over 20 year so hopefully I'll be able to give you some advice.
What sort of sounds do you want ie Organs, Synths, Orchesteral, or a pallet of mixed sounds.
I would suggest checking out some websites like SonicState.com , Vintage synth explorer and Youtube.
Some of my favorite modules that will give you all the sounds you could ever want are: Roland JV1080 or JV2080, these come packed full of great sounds that can be edited, layered and split cross the keyboard. Plus you can expand the sounds with sound expantion boards. Both of these models are out of production, you can pick one up cheep on the second hand market.(see ebay)
If you fancy a korg, look for a Triton rack or a Korg TR (trinity rack). These are a great way to get pro sounds without bracking the bank.
Both the roland and the Korg can be linked to you computer for multi track recording.
Hope this will get you started,
Cheers Doug
 
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Thankyou very much for your reply Doug. A lot of good information here.

Just to clarify, a module just holds a load of different sounds in it, it doesnt actually have a keyboard attached to it or anything? If this is true then Im assuming that a module is no good on its own?

Im pretty much looking for a range of different sounds, but i would like a really good hammond sound. I have two keyboards: the Korg SP200 stage piano and the Yamaha PSR 550 (which actually suprisingly has a lot of brilliant sounds on it). However neither of the keyboards actually have a good hammond sound really.

So when you buy a module, you plug in into the keyboard and then does it not actually matter at all what effects the keyboard itself has? In other words, would i get the same sound from either of my keyboards, if i put the module through it?

I have seen the Triton Rack before, and everything else aside, I want it because it looks so cool :p Probably not the best reason to buy it to be fair. However, a great purchase you say?

Im sorry for the ignorance of some of these questions but I suppose theres no point me going and buying this and that if I dont really know what they do haha.

Many Thanks
keysmccarthy
 
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Yes a module is like the brain of a keyboard and you would plug it into your keyboard to control it. The sound comes from the module so it doesn't matter what keyboard you use the sound would be the same. You can mix the sounds together so if you wanted to have a piano sound from your SP200 with a string sound from the module you can. One thing to mention, the modules do not have speakers so if you was to use the psr550 you would have to use an exturnal amp/hifi or headphones, if you use your SP200 you can use the audio inputs to hear the module through the piano speakers. I have multi keyboard set-up so I got a small mixer and a per of Edirol monitor speakers. If you have a good quality hifi with a audio input you can use that aswell.
I had a Triton rack. It was fantastic, great pro sound easy to use with lots of sounds to play with and it also has a midi file/song player as well. This lets you link it to a computer and using Cubase or Cakewalk ect you can use it as a studio and then play back you recordings direct from the module. Cool function.
As for Hammond Organ sounds, the triton has some great organ sounds with the classic rotory speaker sound. Plus you can download new sets of sounds from the Korg Forum website.
See this demo of organ sounds from a Triton:

 
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The JV-1080 was my first synth module and it's a fantastic all rounder to get started with, if you can get past the manual. I tried to read it, but after about three pages threw it away in favour of just fiddling. The preset sounds are well done, although the Hammonds aren't quite up to the standard of the Triton, IMO. If you do decide to go Roland, see if you can get a 2080 instead of a 1080 - they have more sounds, more expansion slots, and most importantly, a bigger screen. It makes using it so much easier and aren't much more expensive.
 
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You have both given me some very useful information. Thanks for clearing up exactly what a module was aswell for me Doug. Ive was watching that youtube video, those organ sounds from the Triton are fanstastic.
Thank you Mourndark for tellin me about your experience with the Roland modules. Ive been looking up on the ones you mentioned also.

Could either of you tell me how much I would be spending on a decent module like ones that have been mentioned here. I obviously don't want to be spending an absolute fortune on something to start with :S
 
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Yep i can give you a rough idea but with these things been second hand the prices maybe slightly different. I sold a Triton rack with some digital update board fitted for £500. It was in fantastic condition with a flight case and all the bits, that was about 18 months ago. I've just had a quick look on ebay and they seem to be selling for between £300 - £400.
There is a Roland JV2080 on ebay at the moment for £290 inc delivery.
And some JV1080s but just started on auction so still low prices but I don't think I would go much over £170ish.
Another one little gem to keep your eye on if you wanted to go down the roland route would be a XV5050, great sounds twice the power of a jv1080 but if you want to edit and program you would have to use a editor from your computer as the screen on the unit is small, you can be downloaded an editor from the roland website.
I would say if you can afford it and get one at a good price, keep looking for the korg. It's the sort of instrument you will have and use for years.
 

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