Keyboard to play live that can be loaded with or can sample sounds.


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Hi
I’m looking for advice – I’m pretty dumb when it comes to keyboards etc.

Currently our band use a midi keyboard with FL studio etc plus some old 1980’s casios (I’m the guitar player live I just want to make our setup easier for the band)

All is fine for writing and recording – we use some odd noises and effects. However, when playing live we need a tablet/laptop and then two or three other old keyboards to get the sounds we want and we’re only usually playing 10 songs!

When mixed with guitars and effects that we use its not a complicated setup – but its annoying to have to link up sound check and test all that equipment.

What I’m looking for is (I have no idea if this can be done) a keyboard I can load a couple of sounds onto (the sounds we use with a current small midi keyboard and tablet) instead of having to link to something else. Then I need somehow to be able sample sounds from the old keyboards and load them up.

Basically we want to walk into a gig with one keyboard that has all the noises we need on it (probably 10 max) – plug it in and not have to have the stack of equipment we are currently using. Then if possible have a very simple way of picking the next sound on the set list.

Can it be done – what can I do it with?

Thanks for any help you can give.
 
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Hire a keyboard player.
Hi
Thanks we have one. I'm asking for him. . .
We want to take one keyboard, no computer instead of 4keyboards and two tablets.
I'm just looking at ways our whole band can minimise the equipment we are trawling around.
 

happyrat1

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If you're willing to invest the money and time for a learning curve, then a sampling workstation could probably do the trick for you.

Something like the Kurzweil PC4 or the Roland FA-07 or FA-08 might do the trick.

Actually if money is tight even a Juno DS might do the job.

Either way, tell your keyboard player to do his homework and choose wisely.

Gary ;)
 
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Let me get this right ....... you want to sample some old 80’s Casio’s?

Perhaps you should get your keyboard player to come onto this forum to explain more about the sounds and effects that your band seeks.
 
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If you're willing to invest the money and time for a learning curve, then a sampling workstation could probably do the trick for you.

Something like the Kurzweil PC4 or the Roland FA-07 or FA-08 might do the trick.

Actually if money is tight even a Juno DS might do the job.

Either way, tell your keyboard player to do his homework and choose wisely.

Gary ;)
Cheers that's really useful. Just been reading about the Juno DS. Definitely in our price bracket.

This is a bit if subterfuge in that I'm flailing about blind in the hope I can persuade our keyboard player (who just uses old Casio keyboards to get old computery sounds and midi bits to get piano/orchestra sounds) to consolidate everything and make more room in my car - and give the mixing desk less to do!
I'm basically hoping to buy a keyboard, load it up with everything and twist his arm to use it.

Sooooo when we normally use a tablet and midi keyboard - can those sounds be loaded up with the recommended keyboards or would we still need a tablet/laptop?
If we want the noise from, say, a 1980's toy Casio keyboard. Can we sample it and use it with the keyboards recommended?

It's either invest in something like this or get a bigger car!

Thanks for any help you can give.
 
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Let me get this right ....... you want to sample some old 80’s Casio’s?

Perhaps you should get your keyboard player to come onto this forum to explain more about the sounds and effects that your band seeks.
Hi this is a bit if an undercover operation.

We use sounds from old toy Casio keyboards sa1 etc
Then in the next song he'll be using a keyboard attached to a tablet with FL studio/ableton on it for strings and piano.

It all works fine but for a 30min set we are trawling round with loads of equipment and giving the mixing desk 4 channels to sort instead of 1

I'm hoping when our rehearsal space let's us back in that I can turn up with a load of info and a recommendation of how we can reduce the equipment.

Then he can try to persuade me to use fewer effects pedals
 
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. . . Aaaand as you can see my knowledge of what we could do is very limited. But I also know our keyboard player has not got much more knowledge than I have.
 
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With your Samples, do you want to load them chromatically to play over the keybed or are they single tones that you can assign to a Pad? It will make a different as to suggested keyboards as not all can create or load chromatic samples.

Like Gary my first thought was a Roland FA but I have just looked through the Roland Product Support videos which are on Youtube for the FA and despite there being 64 tutorial videos they are zero regarding sampling. I am not saying that an FA cannot do what you seek but there are limitations with this keyboard and a lot more research is needed.

If you do go forward with a workstation then do expect a very steep learning curve.
 
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With your Samples, do you want to load them chromatically to play over the keybed or are they single tones that you can assign to a Pad? It will make a different as to suggested keyboards as not all can create or load chromatic samples.

Like Gary my first thought was a Roland FA but I have just looked through the Roland Product Support videos which are on Youtube for the FA and despite there being 64 tutorial videos they are zero regarding sampling. I am not saying that an FA cannot do what you seek but there are limitations with this keyboard and a lot more research is needed.

If you do go forward with a workstation then do expect a very steep learning curve.
Hi thanks. Yes chromatic rather than just used on a pad. Thanks for this I've been reading through the forum and watching vids.
Yup I think it's s steep learning curve ahead for us but looking at what can be achieved it looks like it will be worth it and will open up loads of new avenues for sounds.

Thanks
 
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Yes chromatic rather than just used on a pad.
The Roland FA that has been mentioned would not really work for this function.

Roland Juno DS61 is an inexpensive board that can do what you need, up to a limit of 55 mb or thereabouts IIRC. Download and take a look at its Tone Manager software and manual.

If the sounds you are sampling are short, 55 mb can let you do a pretty good amount. If the sounds you are sampling are long, you'll probably need to loop them, which adds some more complication. Tip: Unless you must have stereo for some reason, keep all your samples mono to conserve space. Those old Casios you're sampling were probably mono anyway.

You could also sample into your tablet/laptop. You'd still need a keyboard to play them, but then at least you'd be down to a tablet and one keyboard instead of a tablet and multiple keyboards.
 
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happyrat1

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A video is worth a thousand words a minute.







I know for a fact that the Kurzweil can do the entire job. It does FM synthesis, Sampling with 2 Gigs of User Memory, Has it's own brand of VAST Synthesis and has amazing orchestral and acoustic samples in ROM.

This keyboard definitely could be set up to do everything you ask and more but you will have a steep learning curve with such a powerful machine and the price is more than twice that of the Juno DS but less than half the price of a Korg Kronos or a Roland Fantom.

If I were shopping around for a main board these days, the Kurzweil would be my first choice.

Gary ;)
 
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A video is worth a thousand words a minute.
Maybe, but maybe not those videos. ;-)

The first video may be helpful, though it is old, and pre-dates the much improved sampling capability of the 2.0 update, which not only is much more flexible, but lets you manage everything from a nice computer program instead of having to do all your key assignments and such on the little built-in screen and button interface,

The second video is about looping patterns (sequences), not samples.

The third video doesn't demonstrate sampling either, it appears to mostly be a sales pitch for the samples that guy is selling on reverb.

But agree, if it's in budget, the PC4 is WAY more capable than the Juno DS, and has much larger sample capacity. In between in price, a Yamaha MODX6 would be another board with a lot of custom sample capacity.
 
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Kurzweil PC3K6. 61 keys, can load 128mb of samples and is about the best midi controller available. Also has QA banks which could be arranged so that you have a bank for every song that you do, almost like a set list arranger
 
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Wow some great info there.
Thanks for the info everyone.
I'm going to spend a bit of time reading through it all.
 
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Another keyboard that will do what you seek is an Arranger like a Korg Pa700.

It can record samples and load pre-recorded samples.

Setlists can be created of your songs and keyboard sets can be easily created such that changing from one instrument registration to another is a single touch.

Unlike many workstations it is not as deep menu keyboard and changes and creating layered instrument sounds to produce a registration is a quick and easy process, certainly far easier than creating a studio set with a Roland FA.

Sticking with Korg checkout the capabilities of the Kross 2 and its associated Editing Software App that is supposed to be able to create your own sounds from recorded samples and the resulting registration or program as Korg calls them, can then be installed on the keyboard. An advantage of the Kross 2 over other keyboards is its small overall size and very light weight at 8 lbs.
 
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There was an update that allows Kross to import KSC and KMP files into its 128 mb of user available sample memory, but this seems like a complicated way to go, most useful for people who own a Kronos, M3, or other Korg sampling keyboard that creates files in that format. The feature does not seem well documented. Your PA700 suggestion is the better Korg solution. Double the capacity, and it supports WAV, AIFF and SoundFont formats (in addition to Korg's own), and the sampling function is fully documented in their manuals. I think--especially for a new user--the Kross would be an exercise in frustration, at best. Of course, the PA700 is a lot pricier than the Kross. (Korg also has the PA600, I don't know much about that one.)

Similar in approach to the PA700, at lower cost, the Casio MZ-X500 could be another possibility, it also supports 256 mb of custom samples amd has a similar nice touchscreen interface.
 
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Thanks - I have had so much great info here. Above and beyond what you are posting - because every thing you say i am looking up and learning new stuff.

I have to be honest nearly everything recommended is out of our range - maybe when we get famous or something.

That original recommendation of a Juno is about our price range.

I'm wondering whether I invest in sampling software and just get a midi board and take a laptop everywhere (not really what we want though)

Thanks to everyone - I'm still trawling through all the info (and learning like mad)
 
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Lots of great info here from the guys.

Not to invalidate or disregard any of it but I wonder though if we’re getting lost in the weeds a bit?

You need 10 sounds for a 30 minute set if I understand OP correctly. Also need to go from multiple keyboards and laptops to one unit. Also don’t want to spend lots of moolah.

If those were my objectives, I’d buy zero keyboards, just take your favourite or most capable existing one, and run the samples off your (hopefully existing) phone or iPad. Might cost you a few pennies for a sampling app but that would be it.

If that’s not cool I’d grab a dedicated sample pad and still stick with one ‘board.

If none of that’s cool - is it really that difficult to obtain a close approximation of the sound of a crusty old Casio with a modern keyboard? Maybe rather than sampling you’ll find a sound that’s quite close if you were to buy a more budget option like the aforementioned Juno DS. Maybe you’ll find even better weird sounds!

If we’re still not cool - as you were and I return you to normal programming!
 
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We may be overcomplicating your single keyboard requirements in our suggestions.

There may not be any need to sample your existing keyboards as the tones or at least something similar may exist in a new Casio keyboard.

Checkout their CT-X 5000 and the PX-S3000

The CT-X 5000 being $450 it is considerably cheaper than a Juno DS and if needed it can load additional sounds and it is only 15 lbs in weight with onboard 2x15W amps.
 

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