New setup, any tips?


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Hi all! I just wanted to hear your opinions before i'm buying anything.

The setup i've been using up til now have been:
Kurzweill PC88, (only as a midi controller)
Echo Audiofire 4
A laptop with firewire input, cubase and a couple of great sounding VST's

And it has really worked great both at rehearsals, in my home studio, and even gigs. No problems with latency or hangs. However, the kurzweill is heavy as three greek wives (no offence to anyone greek), and therefore not as practical for all the moving around.

The setup i'm thinking of buying:
M-Audio Keystation 88es
Behringer FCB1010 (I am well aware that Behringer sucks, hehe)
Echo Audiofire 4
A laptop with firewire input, cubase and some more great sounding VST's

My hope is that i can connect it all up in a way that i can use the midi pedal board to switch between both banks in Hypersonic and the tracks in cubase (the latter i have already accomplished by using "general remote", and programming "navigate down" to a button on the kurzweill - it could just as easily be a switch pedal also).

Any thoughts?

Edit: I have tried several vst-hosts and daws, but i'm not sure which one I prefer, or even what i'm really looking for.. I think I want to have a midi footboard with all my sounds, but then how would i go about making splits and so on? Would i have to make one preset for each split? Or should I just use cubase and have a sequential list of all the patches? Then i don't really need the footboard, only a switch pedal, and I don't think there's even an output for that on the midi keyboard i'm thinking of buying. Any push in the right direction would be great! :)
 
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I'm back from greece, and my new gear greeted me at the door. I have used two days now to set everything up, here's my solution for everything, even if no-one cares.

So, I use Nuendo 3, with the vst's Hypersonic 2 (piano, pads, leads blabla), and Tapeotronic (for mellotron sounds). I could've used a ton more, and maybe i will later on, but for now i keep it simple.

In Hypersonic 2, i have made one combi for each song, and made a combi chain for my whole live set.

In nuendo, i have one track for each patch (sound) as they come throughout each song. The tracks have midichannels responding to Hypersonic. All splits and transposes are set up in the vst.

In nuendo there's is a function called Generic Remote, and I use that function to connect my FCB1010 board. I use number 1 and 2 on the board for up and down respectively, the tracklist. In hypersonic there is possible to midi-learn most commands, and i also use the FCB1010 to move up and down the combi-list (so when i'm done with a song, i just click a button, and then all my sounds for the next song are ready).

I have included a default setup also, in case the band bursts into some weird jam, or just for a practice session.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
 
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I now also use my FB1010 for transport commands in nuendo. Those would be nextMarker, previousMarker and start\stop function. Which is great since i control all the clicktracks! So the clicktracks are routed to another output on my audio interface, and everyone is happy.
 
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Some pictures:

This is the setup
2rogvok.jpg


This is how it looks inside nuendo
ac8l4.jpg


So, i have all the different sounds for each song, and the sequence in which they come, lined up to the right. then i use my pedal to go down the list. I have assigned a key for up the list, but i don't use it as much. Then in Hypersonic, i have one combi for each song, and have also assigned a midi-key for going up and down that list too. Each voice is assigned to different midi-channel outputs. (Eg, as you see the first sound is a rhodes. way right on the screen you can see that it's connected to channel 7, and patch number 7 in hypersonic is "My wurly" which is my homemade rhodes. I make splits, transpose and can add effects from within hypersonic. For my "SOLO-lead" sounds, i actually use distortion from Guitar Rig 4, to boost gain and get the sound really crunchy.

Any questions, feel free to ask!
 
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Sounds like a good rig you have there mate! I've recently got myself back into keyboard playing after many years playing guitar and so enjoying playing keys again. I just bought myself a Roland A500 Pro controller along with Vir2 Electri6ity Guitar Sample Library/instrument plugin for all my electric guitar sounds (I love the challenge of doing guitar stuff on keys as opposed to laying down real guitar). I'm also going to buy Modartt Pianoteq 4 Stage which is a superb physical modelling Acoustic and EP piano plugin instrument. You have to buy the EP bit as an add-on but its pretty good value for money and beats playing samples. Also want to get GSI VB3 for Organ's, again this is cheap but great sound and playability. And finally want to get Tone 2 Gladiator 2 for all my synth needs, the synth plugin as 14 different forms of synthesis, does sample playback as well, it fairly cheap and very low CPU usage so I think the above plugins will service all my keyboard sound requirements, I've got them all downloaded as Demo's so I know they work very well on my PC and DAW. I use Sonar X1 which works well with the A500 controller as it's got ACT built in so pretty easy to controll the DAW from the A500. I need to get a weighted controller soon and a decent sound card, maybe the NI Komplete Audio interface as that looks pretty good.
 
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I understand your reason for wanting a lighter piano, I use a Roland A90 which takes two people to lift safely, however I must make one comment. Swapping a Kurzweil Piano for an M-Audio really wouldn't be something I'd do. The keybed on the Kurz is a million times better than the M-Audio. Personally I'd prefer the better action and build quality and just suffer the weight issue.
 
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I can understand that, but i'm not really a piano player anyway, so i actually like the feel of the m-audio better than the kurzweil. I didn't even use the sounds from the kurzweil. Also i move around my rig quite a lot, so over time weight was an issue for me.. :)
 
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Fair enough, personally I couldn't handle the keybed, but as you say, not being a piano player it won't affect you as much. What about a 76 note semi-weighted board instead maybe?
 
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I once had the M-Audio 61ES which I found to be a nice semi-weighted action but still good for acoustic piano work. I personally think a semi weighted action is the best choice to cover all playing styles, its just some players really want fully weighted hammer action keybed for their acoustic piano playing needs. I do think fully weighted is best for acoustic piano but not good for other things like organ or funky clav playing where you need a quick responding keybed with a fast action.
 

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