Keyboard Amplifiers, Studio Monitors, Speakers...

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Could any one suggest a video link that explains the output sound differences between the three apparatus ?
I am literally confused between the terms as flat frequencies etc..that I got as a result of some online research...
 

Fred Coulter

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I'm not sure you'll find a good video that describes the sound differences. The differences are more functional than acoustic.

A keyboard amplifier is built tough and is meant to be tossed in the back of the van. It tends to be an all in one unit, with (theoretically) a wide flat frequency response.

A studio monitor and a speaker generally do not include the amplifier, just the speaker and the box that holds it. They're also not meant to be tossed in the back of the van, but generally sit in one location, forever.

Studio monitors are supposed to have better sound (wider and flatter frequency response) than speakers, but that may just be marketing.
 

SeaGtGruff

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The term "wide flat frequency response" that Fred used refers to the range of frequencies which are amplified (i.e., a wide range of frequencies vs. a narrow range of frequencies) and the fact that the frequencies within that range are amplified equally rather than boosting some frequency ranges more than others (i.e., a flat or level line vs. a curve that has one or more peaks and one or more valleys in the various frequency ranges).

For a keyboard-- as opposed to a bass guitar or lead guitar-- you want an amplifier that can boost low frequencies (bass), high frequencies (treble), and everything in between, because a keyboard can play notes ranging from very low to very high. And you ideally want the amount of amplification to be flat or level across the range of frequencies, because you turn up the volume you want all of the notes to be amplified the samr amount, rather than the bass notes getting cranked up but the treble notes being untouched, or something like that.

Of course, there might also be times when you want to use an equalizer to change the relative amplifications of the frequencies in certain ranges, such as boosting the bass but not the mid-range and treble frequencies, or boosting the mid-range frequencies but not the bass or treble, etc. That's because most electronic keyboards can sound like many different instruments, and each instrument has its own natural range of notes, as shown in this illustration:

EQ2.gif

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_GD7kgG_0bkc/S7v43QQ9BEI/AAAAAAAAATc/UeGyoi-xvjc/s1600/EQ2.gif

Thus, if you were using a keyboard to play a Tuba sound, you might want to boost a different range of frequencies than if you were playing a Piccolo sound.
 

Fred Coulter

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Just noticed that your chart doesn't include organ. That would drop the bass requirements by about an octave.

Also, the chart is for the fundamental frequency. Most instruments are known by the harmonics of the instrument, so the upper frequency required would be significantly higher. (Except piccolo, which is just annoying.)
 

SeaGtGruff

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Yeah, there are a lot of charts like that on the internet, some with more instruments than others. I just searched for "instrument ranges chart" in images and grabbed the first one that came up.
 
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For a keyboard-- as opposed to a bass guitar or lead guitar-- you want an amplifier that can boost low frequencies (bass), high frequencies (treble), and everything in between, because a keyboard can play notes ranging from very low to very high.

Slight correction (possible disagreement) here. Bass guitars use and need a full range of sound just like keyboards. And typically keyboard and bass amps are interchangeable. Many lines are actually the same equipment but sold under different names with slightly different features and different EQ settings.

Even though Bass guitars may not commonly play root notes very high, their harmonics go on up into the upper-middle of the human frequency spectrum, and it's those bright harmonics that allow the bass to cut through the mix, especially during the attack phase. Couple that with the fact that high frequencies are the easiest and most natural thing for amps/cabs to produce (you have to work to cut them out), and there's really no reason not to make a bass amp that has an even frequency response even past what a bass can produce. Now, some older tube bass amps, just like the tube amps of yesteryear for Electro-acoustic pianos (Twin Reverb, etc), definitely color and sculpt the sound for a certain character, but that's another discussion entirely, and usually that can be avoided by not overdriving the amp.

Basically, most bass and keyboard amps are the same, for the most part, especially solid state, but even most tube amps. I play on both with both instruments, and they both do a great job. I've had bass players who absolutely adored my Roland KC-550 keyboard amp and went on to buy them as bass amps. And I currently play my keys through a Gallien-Krueger bass combo and all the patches sound solid.

Guitar amps, on the other hand, are a TOTALLY different animal. NEVER play a bass or keyboard through a guitar amp, you can easily ruin it and it'll likely sound like ass.
 

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