Opinions of Ketron SD2 module


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My old-school ears (I'm 71) have been conditioned to Roland workstation sounds, but online demos of the Ketron SD2 sound module sound to me like the real instruments. I’ve read good reviews, but one posting on SweetwaterForums says the Ketron sounds like a toy. What are your opinions? And will Cakewalk have instrument definitions for the Ketron? If not where are they?
 
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happyrat1

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Can't speak for having actually worked with one but they seem to be better than "toy" quality from the demos I've heard online.

As for the INS file. I believe Ketron actually supplies one themselves. It either ships with the unit on disk or it's a download from their site.

You may have to email them to find the link though. I looked all over the site and since they redesigned their site I have no idea where it went.

Gary ;)
 
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I'm enjoying your knowledge, Gary. I had no idea anybody was an encyclopedia of midi. Under the query title East Yorkshire, in reference to modules you said, "they never crash and they're much easier to setup and keep running smolothly." YES! That's where I hope to arrive... something that runs smolothly. If you go one, I'll pay Five dolla cash money.
 

happyrat1

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I ain't got a Ketron, sorry, no $5, but I do own a Waldorf Blofeld Desktop Module and several other synths for which I use a Kurzweil PC3K8 as the controller.

I get some really funky layers and grooves going sometimes with virtually no effort at all :D

At one point I was looking very closely at the Ketrons though. They seem to be very respectable modules, though they did have a few firmware issues a while back. Hopefully they've fixed those by now.

And when I said they NEVER crash I was being optimistic. Keyboards and modules do occasionally crash but only very rarely in most cases unless there's a serious firmware or hardware problem.

Compared to soft synths though, the comparative frequency of hardware crashes on physical modules and synths is effectively "never." :)

Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

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BTW, if you're in the market for modules and have deep pockets, take a look at the Roland Integra 7 and the Muse Receptor.

These are the Cadillacs of synth modules today and the Integra would give you all the sounds you pine for. :D

Gary ;)
 
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Thanks for all this good information. Considering my low-end application - backing tracks for live piano for folks in retirement centers - I want to keep the cost very moderate. I could afford some really good junk but can't justify it since I've already got enough tracks to get my "fans" to the long black Cadillac.
 
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happyrat1

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Ketron SD2 should be fine then. I'm guessing your clientele isn't looking for NIN's "Closer" or Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" then :D

Are you looking to play the Ketron from a laptop then if it's just backing tracks?

I do recall reading a few comments on the Ketron Forums about some bugs in the software a couple of years ago.

If I were you I'd scan thru those forums and ask the posters for first hand opinions on just how reliable the unit really is.

Even though it's one of the cheaper synth modules out there it's still pretty spendy for a module the size of a pack of cigarettes so that's one of the reasons I backed down from getting one a few years ago.

Here's a couple of forums devoted to that brand of synth.

http://www.synthzone.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/forums/22/1/Ketron_Forum

One fellow here says the SD2 sounds excellent but is almost impossible to use without a computer.

http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2462768/Ketron

http://www.synthzone.com/ketron.htm

I'd suggest doing more extensive research before committing to it.

If you plan to use it without a computer it may not be the best for you.

Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

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BTW, for about the price of a brand new Ketron you could also probably find a used older generation Yamaha Motif Rack or Triton Rack module for about the same price.

Perhaps a better way to go.

Gary ;)
 
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Good thoughts. Thanks.

Reading links you posted, it came to me that the Ketron has no buttons, so I'd have to taste patches using my mouse instead of just twisting the Roland dial, and that would be awkward. Can DAWs cycle through patches by pressing the down arrow on the computer keyboard?
 

happyrat1

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Actually if you are using a MIDI controller you can specify the bank and patch select CC#s in order to access the patches directly on the module.

If you're playing from a computer then it's mousey mousey clicky clicky to select patches and if there are any keyboard shortcuts they are dependent on whatever software you are using.

Gary ;)
 
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I assume you mean that if I have a Roland A-49 controller connected USB to my computer, and a Ketron SD-2 module connected USB to my computer, I can assign a button on the A-49 to advance through SD-2 patches. Be that the truth of the matter?
 

happyrat1

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That be keerekt regardless of whether it be a Roland A-49 Controller or a Stage Piano or a Full Blown Synth Workstation. Pretty much any keyboard with MIDI ports can act as a controller and usually the knobs and sliders and buttons and pedals can be assigned to virtually any control function.

It's also doable in cases where a device has only USB ports but in those cases you have to use a computer as an intermediary to handle the routing.

Gary ;)
 
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Thanks, Gary.

That thing on your avatar is just a mouse, you know. If you'd like, I'll stomp a rat and mail it. You could dump it on your piano and get some good shots.
 
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happyrat1

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The focus group told me that a mouse was less scary for the wee ones than a rat.

Technically speaking I got my nickname over 25 years ago when I owned a ferret. Everyone called it a rat so for years I went by the moniker "Rat Rancher."

Eventually my nick evolved into happyrat and it just sort of stuck.

And if I ever release anything commercially I'll have to commission some original artwork anyway since my current avatar is shamelessly stolen from da internets... :D :D :D

Gary ;)
 

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