Roland A800 PRO vs Yamaha PSR E443


Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Hey there!

I'm doubting a lot between the roland controller and yamaha keyboard, the prices are 100% similar and I don't know which will be a winning choice for me. My priorities are live performance, music production trough MIDI (I make orchestral/trailer music), covers...etc

I've been told that, for example, almost all symphonic metal bands use controllers or synths because they can create their own sounds and this really makes the difference. But I have a mess in my head right now...

Hope you can help me, thanks a lot in advance!
 
Ad

Advertisements

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
11,005
Reaction score
4,657
Location
GTA, Canada
The nicest thing about using a controller is that you can make your setup entirely modular. Not only do you have the option of using soft synths but you can also add a variety of hardware MIDI sound modules allowing you to upgrade for a fraction of the price of a full blown workstation.

If I were starting out again today from scratch that's probably the route I'd go with.

However I do take issue with a 5 octave controller though. Unless you are really tight on space I'd recommend getting at least 76 keys or better yet 88 so that you can express orchestral sounds more realistically.

Gary ;)
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Well, I'm not performing orchestral tracks live, its more symphonic metal than anything, I think I'm cool with 61 keys. The other thing that displeases me from buying the roland is the size of the keys, they seem or actually are a bit smaller than a conventional keyboard... Would this be uncomfortable? Thanks Gary, sorry for my bad english, if you misunderstood anything tell me!
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
11,005
Reaction score
4,657
Location
GTA, Canada
Are you buying online or from a local store?

I've never played a Roland but their key actions generally get good reviews.

Personally I like Alesis Controllers. I have a QX49 that I use for screwing around with my laptop and the keys have a very good feel to them. They are semi weighted and they are full sized. The QX series has been discontinued but I'd recommend taking a good look at the Akai MPK or the Arturia Keylab Controllers. The Arturias come with a very nice software bundle of their own synth packages to get you started.

http://www.amazon.com/Arturia-KeyLab-61-Controller-Extended/dp/B015FMV380

http://www.amazon.com/Akai-Professional-MPK261-Performance-Controller/dp/B00IJ7J06Q

Just one suggestion though.

If you do plan to perform live with a controller, have at least one sound module handy as a backup in case the computer crashes.

It can be really embarrassing if your laptop has to reboot in the middle of a live performance.

A few inexpensive suggestions for modules include a Roland SC-88 Sound Canvas

http://www.amazon.com/Roland-SC-88-Sound-Canvas-Module/dp/B004B3IH4I

Or a Yamaha MU-100

http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-Mu100-MU100-Sound-Module/dp/B004AP61TK

Or a Ketron SD2

http://www.amazon.com/Ketron-SD2-Sound-Module/dp/B000WC92IM

Any of these would give you the bread and butter sounds you'd need for a live performance as well as serve you well in the studio.

Or else look around on Ebay and Craigslist for a used Triton Rack or a used Motif Rack.

Gary ;)
 
Ad

Advertisements

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
11,005
Reaction score
4,657
Location
GTA, Canada
It means there are no 5 pin DIN MIDI ports. Only a USB to Host.

I would not buy a controller these days without both.

Gary.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Why?

Thank you, sorry for being irritating idk much about controller and I want to be sure about all the details
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
3,727
Reaction score
1,579
Having both types of ports gives you more flexibility, and the traditional 5-pin MIDI DIN ports let you directly connect two MIDI devices together without needing to use something else (e.g., a computer) as a go-between. Thus, for a MIDI controller-- be it a keyboard controller, "launch pad" controller, foot controller, breath controller, etc.-- having traditional MIDI ports is preferred if you have any intentions of ever connecting the controller to a synth, arranger keyboard, portable ROMpler, or other type of sound module.

The other thing that displeases me from buying the roland is the size of the keys, they seem or actually are a bit smaller than a conventional keyboard... Would this be uncomfortable?

The keys on the Yamaha are also a tiny bit narrower-- not enough to notice, but enough to make the 61-key keybed about 1/4 of an inch narrower than standard. That shouldn't have any impact on your playing, though.

I have a PSR-E443 (as well as a PSR-E433 and a YPT-400) and enjoy it very much, so I wouldn't want to steer you away from it if you're thinking of getting one. However, its overall build quality, sound quality, and technical capabilities aren't as good as what you'll get from a PSR-S or other mid-to-high-end Yamaha model-- e.g., the PSR-E and DGX models use XGlite rather than XG, so they can use some but not all of the XG MIDI commands that the PSR-S models can; and the PSR-E and DGX models are also limited to just two auto-accompaniment style variations (A and B), whereas the PSR-S models can use four variations (A, B, C, and D). Also, there's no way to load new voice samples on the PSR-E and DGX models. Furthermore, the PSR-E models have lower polyphony than the PSR-S models-- 32 notes max, or 16 notes for some voices, and even less if you layer two voices together.

On the other hand, the PSR-E443 is less than half the price of the least-expensive PSR-S model, so if money is an object for you (as it is for me), the PSR-E443 might be good for you. And if you connect it to a computer (since it has a USB port rather than MIDI DIN ports), you can use it as a MIDI keyboard controller, although it doesn't have all the assignable knobs, sliders, and pads that some controllers do. I have a number of sample libraries, virtual instruments, and soft synths that I've purchased on sale over the years, so I'm not limited to just those voices that the PSR-E443 has. And I have a couple of "launch pad" controllers I bought when they were on sale, as well as a keyboard controller (from before I bought a PSR-E433) that also has plenty of sliders, knobs, and pads.

To conclude, I recommend that you visit a local music store and play a PSR-E443 firsthand if possible, to help you decide whether you think it does or doesn't meet your needs as far as build quality, sound quality, etc. And if none of your local stores have one available to try in store, you could even try a PSR-E353 or PSR-E253 instead, as their build qualities and sound qualities are similar to the PSR-E443's. To be clear, I'm not suggesting that you buy one of them instead, just that playing them in store ought to give you a sense of what the PSR-E443 sounds and feels like.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Thanks a lot for answering SeaGtGruff. But I'm not sure I understand you 100% about the MIDI ports issue, I'm planning to use the controller with a PC mostly, but with USB to host I can use it with a module?

Thanks a lot!
 
Ad

Advertisements

Fred Coulter

Collector of ancient keyboards
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Messages
825
Reaction score
427
Location
Central Florida
However I do take issue with a 5 octave controller though. Unless you are really tight on space I'd recommend getting at least 76 keys or better yet 88 so that you can express orchestral sounds more realistically.

Gary ;)

I've looked long and hard and only found one 7X note controller out there, so that might be difficult. Most of the 88 note controllers attempt to emulate the piano keyboard's feel. So if he wants a light action, he may be stuck with a 61 note controller.

On the other hand, if he gets a 7X note keyboard that generates sounds, he can use it as a controller and (if the computer fails) as a backup sound generator. The belt and suspenders approach.
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
3,727
Reaction score
1,579
I would probably recommend the M-Audio Oxygen over the M-Audio Keystation, although I don't have any personal experience with either one-- I have the M-Audio Axiom. The Axiom has piano-like action (box-style keys which are semi-weighted), and it looks like the Keystation also has box-style keys, whereas the description for the Oxygen says that it has "synth-action" keys. I've read comments from various people which were critical of M-Audio controllers, but the only gripe I have about my Axiom is that the keys are a little bit "noisy," and I think I lean a little more toward preferring synth-action keys over piano-action keys.

As for the MIDI ports question, sometimes people who have a hard synth, portable keyboard, keyboard-less rack-style synth or other sound module, will use a MIDI keyboard controller with it-- maybe the controller has better key-action, or a longer keybed, or knobs and sliders and other controls, etc. As long as the MIDI keyboard controller and the other equipment both have 5-pin MIDI DIN ports, you can just connect them together without needing to use a computer as a go-between. In a home studio it might not matter whether you need to use a computer as a go-between, but if you're performing live then you might not want to have to cart a computer or laptop around and use it on stage.
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
11,005
Reaction score
4,657
Location
GTA, Canada
No time to talk right now, but I am one of those people who says to avoid M-Audio controllers. I owned an Oxygen49 and it was a total piece of crap. Too much latency and the velocity never worked on it and the cheap M-Audios have no MIDI ports.

I say stick with the Akai or the Arturia I listed and you won't be sorry.

Other cheaper brands you buy at your own risk.

Gary ;)
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Well, being guided by some review on sweetwater.com I think I will choose M-Audio Keystation, because:

1- People experience better action and more responsive touch with M audio keys.
2- The issue about the ports, M Audio have both
3- Alesis have a lot of bad reviews. Really, people seems to hate that brand or something...

Thanks both for your intervention, you really help me to make a decision!
 
Ad

Advertisements

Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
30
Reaction score
1
Location
Wilmington, California
Hey there!

I'm doubting a lot between the roland controller and yamaha keyboard, the prices are 100% similar and I don't know which will be a winning choice for me. My priorities are live performance, music production trough MIDI (I make orchestral/trailer music), covers...etc

I've been told that, for example, almost all symphonic metal bands use controllers or synths because they can create their own sounds and this really makes the difference. But I have a mess in my head right now...

Hope you can help me, thanks a lot in advance!
Order the A-800 Pro
i have one thats used exclusively midi into Roland Integra-7
the feel & keyboard action are valued for the xtra cost
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top