Keyboard monitor v. Powered Amp?

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I just got myself a Yamaha MX61 (I'm not really a keyboard player - just do a little fills during live gigs). Anyway, I found that it doesn't put out a whole lot of sound when directly plugged into my Mackie PA system. I have a Mackie board with powered Alto speakers. Someone recommended that I get a keyboard monitor. My intention is that I get something (monitor or powered speaker to act as monitor) to plug my keyboard into so that I can hear what I'm playing and then daisy chain that speaker (be it monitor or powered speaker) to the Mackie board and out the PA system. Now I already have 3- 12" powered monitors in addition to 2- 15" powered speakers. The bottom line here is that I need a something that I can hear my keyboard and also get out the PA system to the audience. We play hard classic rock in relatively small venues at local pubs (20 to 50 people). If I could get the sound out of the PA system then I'm not sure if I really need a very strong keyboard monitor (and they are very expensive!). Do I need a keyboard amp, ie, Roland KC150 65W 12" Keyboard amp? Or, would I be better off with a (cheaper) smaller powered speaker, i.e. Behringer Eurolive B110D 300W 10" Powered Speaker?
kc150_angle_gal.jpg 210916.jpg imgres.jpg
 
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I've always preferred powered speakers to keyboard amps for monitoring, just because they sound better.

I also prefer to use my own powered speaker for personal monitoring, and go direct into band's PA for front of house. If you have the ability to do that, the Behringer will do the job. It's up to you if you're happy with how it sounds.

If this isn't possible and you're wanting to use the same speaker for monitoring and front of house sound, you'll need something with a bit of grunt, unless the venue is really small and quiet. If that's the case, that Behringer wouldn't cut it in the rock band I play in.
 
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I appreciate the response and the suggestion. In fact, it seems like forever I've been battling the idea of having a personal monitor as the lead singer of the band. However, the cost is huge! A good Sennheiser Personal Monitoring system runs around $1000. Shure is a little less, but not as good. Too much for me. I always end up falling back on floor monitors. Got 'em might as well use 'em. Again, my interest is in the opinion of keyboard players in regards to keyboard monitors ($$$) v. powered speakers ($) in the context of their practical use during small live performances (20 - 50 people) of a classic rock band.
 
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I've always preferred powered speakers to keyboard amps for monitoring, just because they sound better.

I also prefer to use my own powered speaker for personal monitoring, and go direct into band's PA for front of house. If you have the ability to do that, the Behringer will do the job. It's up to you if you're happy with how it sounds.

If this isn't possible and you're wanting to use the same speaker for monitoring and front of house sound, you'll need something with a bit of grunt, unless the venue is really small and quiet. If that's the case, that Behringer wouldn't cut it in the rock band I play in.

OK! Well that helps me! Being completely ignorant of this stuff, I seem to have the impression that a keyboard monitor will sound better and do all that I need it to do. But it seems that may not be the case. Most of the music is going to come out of the PA system for the audience. I just need to hear myself play. It sounds like a simple powered speaker might just be what I need! :D
 
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happyrat1

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I appreciate the response and the suggestion. In fact, it seems like forever I've been battling the idea of having a personal monitor as the lead singer of the band. However, the cost is huge!

Just to add a little perspective to the mix.

A good quality hearing aid runs between $3000 and $5000 a pop and a ruptured eardrum is priceless :D :D :D

Gary ;)
 

Fred Coulter

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Back in the day, since vocalists didn't have to buy much in the way of equipment, they were usually responsible for the band's PA. Assuming that the band doesn't have their own PA, it hardly seems fair for the guitarist to buy guitars and an amp, the bass player to buy an amp with the extra large speakers to go low, the drummer to buy all the drums plus a not-cool vehicle to haul them around, and the keyboardist to buy all those computers we call keyboards while the vocalist gets away with just showing up and getting the girls.

OK, I'm done complaining about vocalists. My wife also wouldn't approve of the keyboardists getting the girls. And I like my Subaru Outback.
 
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Back in the day, since vocalists didn't have to buy much in the way of equipment, they were usually responsible for the band's PA. Assuming that the band doesn't have their own PA, it hardly seems fair for the guitarist to buy guitars and an amp, the bass player to buy an amp with the extra large speakers to go low, the drummer to buy all the drums plus a not-cool vehicle to haul them around, and the keyboardist to buy all those computers we call keyboards while the vocalist gets away with just showing up and getting the girls.

OK, I'm done complaining about vocalists. My wife also wouldn't approve of the keyboardists getting the girls. And I like my Subaru Outback.
From what you describe, I couldn't argue your point. And if what you describe was our situation, I couldn't agree more. However, here on Long Island, most clubs do not provide a PA system. Therefore, we have to always bring our own PA system to every gig we do. (and OMG that is a lot of work - lugging that stuff... setting up... breaking down... phew!:confused:). But you and I think along the same lines. From the beginning, as the vocalist, I felt that my instrument was my voice and therefore it was my responsibility for the PA system. Therefore, I purchased the PA system including the Mackie sound board, the two main 15" Alto powered speakers, 2 of the 3 12" powered monitors, all the vocal effects, and the Sennheiser microphones, wires, speaker and microphone stands, not to mention the Yamaha MX61 keyboard. It adds up! Now, I'm finding the need to get a monitor. And I don't have an endless source of funds.
And in my band, I'm hardly the magnet for the girls! o_O That title goes to my drummer. :p
 
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Which powered speaker or at least brand of powered speakers would you consider for yourself? I'm trying to get the best for as little money and that doesn't weigh a ton. I know I'm asking a lot.
 
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The QSC K12 is an incredible powered speaker. The tonal quality is amazing - doesn't need to be screaming ass loud to hear above a live band. Only weighs 40 pounds.

I can compare the K12 to the speakers I've bought and own/owned over the last 3 years - a pair of Peavey SP5's (too dang heavy), a pair of EV ZLX-15P's (no matter how loud they got they didn't really cut it and got REALLY hot), a Peavy KB4 (umm, ya...), a borrowed JBL EON615 (just OK), and the single K12.

The K12 is the absolute cream of the crop.
 
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EV ELX112P sonically sounds warmer than the K12 and is at least $300 cheaper. The cabinet is made of wood, not ABS like the K12, weighs less and is louder. The qsc, when driven loud, gets harsh sounding, the EV doesn't. Not sure where the cream of the crop is coming from, unless you're talking about the price, certainly not tonal quality. Research any keyboard forum and you'll get the same general opinion.
 
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Whatever you do, get it close to and focused at your ear as possible, and turn it down so only you can hear it. I've seen some numbnuts SIT ON THEIR AMPS for god's sake! Talk about screwing up the onstage sound. Generally, keyboards are the last thing that most bands need to hear. Drums and bass first, but that's thankfully the easiest to hear usually, then guitars, and either keyboards or vocals last, as in most styles, we're playing off everyone else, and as long as you can at least tell the vocalist is singing, you're fine. Therefor, I say use a keyboard/bass amp (powered speaker), and forget the monitor. Therefor you can be the master of your own monitor level, and typically everyone else's on-stage volume is loud enough to play along without monitoring.

I have a small, but powerful bass amp sitting on an egg crate, propped at a 45degree angle by a wooden ramp, so it shoots right into my right ear. Possibly an even better solution is a powerful nearfield-sized powered speaker on a pole, you see that quite a bit, and it makes a lot of sense, you can even get quieter, closer, and more directional that route. I've almost NEVER played in a band that commonly asked for more keyboards in their mix, so aim for being as quiet as you can be outside your own little area.
 

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