Looking for a workstation for under 1000$


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Hi there!

I'm interested in purchasing something that would allow me to compose music. To be more precise, I would like to be able to create a drum track from scratch and then record multiple layers onto it. If possible, maybe even change the drum track and tempo thruout the song.

I would also like to be able to perform with it (I play in an instrumental prog band so i don't need rhythms and styles during performance).

Another preference is a weighted 88 keyboard.

I know it's a lot to ask for a "budget workstation" but I would still be thankful for suggestions.

I was looking at a Korg Kross 88 and a Roland Juno DS 88.

Tnx in advance,
Pip
 

happyrat1

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And I'm looking for a 2017 Porsche 911 for under $50 :D :D :D

Seriously though. IF you look around, and are willing to spend at least $200 you could conceivably pick up a Casio CTK or a low end Yamaha PSR right now in the post xmas sales.

Forget about 88 keys though. That ain't gonna happen.

Otherwise take a look around on your local craigslist or ebay. Again you might find something from Casio or Yamaha going for cheap.

But $100 is a joke unless you want to spend money fixing up a keyboard with a burnt out display or a couple of dead and broken keys.

Gary ;)
 
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happyrat1

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Whoa. Excuse me. I'm blind this AM. I read $100 not $1000. :eek:

In the $1000 range you should take a look at the Roland Juno DS88 or the Casio PX-560, PX-360 or the PX-5S or the Korg Kross 88.

All good choices in your price range.

For a sequencer you'd probably end up using a computer for a DAW but that's no great loss.

Gary ;)
 
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Tnx. I checked those suggestions already, but would like to know if anyone has had any positive/negative experience with them.

As I said, my priorities are fast recording (of ideas and songs) and Live performance (voices only). I realy don't need backing tracks and accompaniments, since I'm not a solo performer. For the past 8 years I've been using a Korg X5D and It suited my needs, but now I need more.
 

Fred Coulter

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If you're not going to use the sequencer live, then having it onboard the keyboard isn't essential. Keyboard sequencers have a serious limitation, the screen. It is far easier to use a computer based sequencer.

Also, if you're only going to use one sound at a time while playing live, a workstation may not be necessary. There are many vst instruments you could drive from the computer based sequencer at little or no cost.

If you need so portable setup, so you can use them live, ignore my previous comments.
 

happyrat1

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Be advised that what I recommended were performance synths, and not workstations.

The only real honest to god workstations available at the low end blow your budget by about double.

ie The Roland FA-08, the Korg Krome 88 and the Yamaha MOXF8

The point is the performance synths can bring home the bacon under budget as long as you are willing to use a computer to add the workstation sequencer functions.

I personally own a Roland Juno DS61 the little brother to the DS88 and it's a kickass synth but I've only had it for less than a month and I don't use that particular synth in my studio for recording songs.

I use it more for on the fly spur of the moment play and practice sessions when I don't feel like firing up the monster.

Still, it's delightfully intuitive and easy to play and set up splits and layers though I'm not certain about its multi timbral qualities for recording and playing back MIDIs.

My advice is to download the manuals for any synth you are interested in as well as check out the youtube demos and by all means audition them live in a music store if they are in stock anywhere near you.

Otherwise, the only way to bring home a workstation for under $1000 is to start looking at the used market on craigslist or ebay.

Gary ;)
 

Fred Coulter

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I think the confusion comes from the title of the thread. (In addition a member of the group needing new glasses.)

A workstation is a keyboard with an onboard sequencer and the ability to play multiple parts simultaneously. Given what you say you're planning on doing with the keyboard, I don't think that's what your looking for.

Or am I misreading your posts?
 

Fred Coulter

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Looking at Sweetwater, these are the available NEW keyboards with 88 keys that may fit your needs: Roland Juno DS88, Yamaha M88, Casio Privia PX-360, and Korg Kross 88.

I'm not sure how programmable any of these keyboards are, but I'm not sure how important that is to you.

If you are willing to go used, you'll find a crap ton of instruments that may, or may not, meet your budget and requirements.
 
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Hi! Tnx for all the info.

This is what I'm looking for:

For example, I get a song idea and I want to record it, just so i don't forget it. I turn on the keyboard, record a drumkit or find a preset drum pattern and save it. Then on top of that, I record a few other layers with different voices and have it stored or exported to PC or USB.

The other thing:

I would set up my personal bank with the sounds I need for performing, and use the onboard controls a foot controler to just scroll between them during a gig.

Please note that I don't expect my recording to be top of the line. Of course I would use PC for that. I just need it for storing fresh song ideas.

From what I have seen, I'm strongly leaning towards the DS-88.

Pip
 

happyrat1

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The DS88 has NO onboard MIDI sequencer.

All it has is a step sequencer for recording drum patterns and basslines.

It won't let you store an entire song.

If you want to do your sequencing on the fly I'd suggest getting an iPad with it.

Gary ;)
 

John Garside

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A few minutes ago I was looking at the Thomann web site and, incredibly, they have the Casio PX5s at just 641 Euro or 546 pounds.
But that's only any good if you live in Europe of course.
I wonder why the price has fallen? Are they about to announce its successor, I wonder?
 

happyrat1

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It's very possible. Winter NAMM is only a few weeks away.

Gary ;)
 
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Hi,
I'm not entirely sure if this is the answer you're looking for, but I have just bought the Roland JUNO DS-88 and it is fantastic!
I am in a band and have used it in performances (it's great) and also do composition so connect it to my computer via USB.
I cannot recommend it enough, amazing value for money!
Hope this helped :)
 
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Hi!

After researching all of the options I will probably get the DS-88. Looks like the best possible option.
 
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Hi!

After researching all of the options I will probably get the DS-88. Looks like the best possible option.
Hey man. I'm late to the party, but wanna chime in. I've owned, sold, returned, used, just about every possible configuration for a guy with decent finances.
My suggestion? For $1000?
First, I'd buy a decent used Mac laptop. Easily around $300. They are generally bulletproof. I just switched to Mac from PC and I'm never going back.
Then download a free version of some DAW. Too many to review, but any will do. Or spend $100 on a good into level one like Presonus Studio One. It's pretty good. I'm using the pro level one now, and now that I know how to use it,
I'm never going back. It includes loops and instruments and what not. All sound great. I bought the Korg M1, Polysix, wavestation, and Monopoly virtuals for $25/each. Totally awesome. To hear them, SoundCloud.com/killedbygiants

Then I would get a used USB controller for $100, like the 88 key m audio keystation. I found a PCR800 for $120 on eBay. And an A33 76 key, I think, and it was $100.
You're at about $500. Pick up a decent USB or firewire on Reverb or CL, or eBay for $150.
That's it. Use the rest for more toys or a used Yamaha MX61. Wanna talk about an awesome
live synth...
I was playing synths in an 80s new wave tribute.
Used a Roland SH201 cause it looks cool, plus the MX61 with the PCR plugged into it.
4 zones of sounds. Walaa. I was playing the craziest shit with just these 2 synths. And covered them well.
Anyway, it's a crowded field with too many options, but the setup I described has me flying through ideas and songs like mad.
I've got a MacBook Pro, MOTU 828, boatload of my old ACID loop collections like vital drums, which is insane, and a 48 key m audio key station in addition to all the gear I mentioned.
Trust me, this setup is streamlined and works every time.
The Mac was $1200 from sweetwater, MOTU $100 used, and the rest, well, who knows...lol...
But im totally happy for the first time in years.
 

Fred Coulter

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First, I'd buy a decent used Mac laptop. Easily around $300. They are generally bulletproof. I just switched to Mac from PC and I'm never going back.
Both of my daughters have relatively recent Mac laptops. One managed to require a complete motherboard replacement ($800), while the other one has cracked her screen repeatedly. She says that when it no longer works, she's getter a Windows machine.

The newer Mac laptops are extremely thin, which makes them fragile. Older ones, as recommended by Ken B., are a better idea.
 
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Def agree with that, if you buy a MacBook Air. My stepson broke his nearly immediately after purchase. I've got a new MacBook Pro, which feels like a brick. Whatever it's made of, metal, I'm guessing, is really tops. Like anything else, treat it nice, it'll keep nice.
As for windows machines, aside from the new OS being a complete POS to deal with, and having to constantly fight the computer itself, it def cheaper, but I do still use both, and the Mac just performs a million times better. I was a Mac denier for decades.
Now, I just deny climate change, lol, even though it's 50 here in crappy NY...
 

Fred Coulter

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I just deny climate change, lol, even though it's 50 here in crappy NY...
As the climate change advocates like to say whenever it snows on a Climate Change Summit, that's just weather.
 
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scullen

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As has been mentioned, the DS88 only has a pattern sequencer. You can lay down a drum pattern with a bass line, but since patterns are usually repeated (looped), it is limited to 8 bars. It might be enough for a hook though.

If you just want to record short ideas, it works fine, but for real sequencing, you need a DAW or a real workstation.
 

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