Second keyboard...


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Right, moving up on the proverbial scales (no pun intended) and would rather go for a ‘more than 61’ key synth as a second keyboard ; call it more or less ‘future proofing’ and wanting to avoid regretting my purchase in a few weeks time.

The Juno DS76 is only marginally more expensive than the DS61 ; however, as I was looking at Korg, I caught the Krome EX on my radar (the Kross 2 only comes with 61 or 88 keys). The Krome EX has a version that has 73 keys and, although there are quite a lot of people who dismiss this keyboard because it’s just a pitiful attempt of Korg’s at providing an alternative to Yamaha’s MODX boards, I really like the sounds of it. It may not have the synth capabilities of the Yamaha MODX or the Roland FA (or even Juno DS series), but I don’t really mind as the Krome EX apparently comes packed with a huge number of very usable sounds.

So, instead of comparing the Juno DS61 and the Kross 2 (which in turn, is just a refresh of the original Kross - Korg seem to want to create a ‘pattern’ here , again no pun intended), I am now looking at the Juno DS76 versus the Krome EX73.
The Yamaha MODX range is, of course, really nice, but I would already stretch the budget with the Krome EX73 and the MODX7 is even more expensive...

I would appreciate any thoughts you may have on this.

PS : My posts may sound as though I’m not really being serious about all this, that I don’t know what I really want, and that I will just be buying stuff instead of really making music, but make no mistake. I’m actually really looking forward to making some cool music and upload it so you can tell me whether I’m any good or not ;)
I have to secretly admit, though, that it’s nice to be able to afford all this stuff now that I have moved on with my life :p
 
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Functionally, the Krome EX seems like a Kross 2 without the sample trigger pads, step sequencer, audio recorder, line inputs, or vocoder, but with an improved sound set, a large color touch screen, and 4 control knobs instead of 2. (Also joystick vs. wheels, that's personal preference.) The sound set has about 40% more underlying samples (roughly 700 vs. 500), but some are much larger, yielding a total of 4 GB of samples vs 128 mb. Most of that difference is in piano, EP, and drum sounds. Factor those out and I think the difference is only something like 512 mb vs. 128 mb, but that's still a big difference. But besides the greater amount of underlying sample data, the Krome EX also has the more advanced EDS-X sound engine compared to the Kross' scaled down EDS-i. So for instance, the Krome can support up to 8 velocity layers per program, vs. 4 on a Kross.

In terms of functionality-per-dollar, I think Krome is a weaker value than Kross, DS/FA, MODX... but if the most important thing is the sounds, which is best here is very subjective. If the sound of the Krome is what floats your boat, it's the only one of these boards that sounds like a Krome!

As for Krome EX vs Juno DS, as I similarly said about the Kross, Korg's big advantages are still in the sequencer and 16-zone MIDI controller functions, but in the Krome, also the big color touchscreen. DS still has a lot of advantages over the Krome... the same ones it had over the Kross (better at seamless transitions and live split/layer manipulation, etc.), plus some of the ones the Kross has over the Krome (i.e. vocoder, pads though they work differently than the Kross ones do). And something I didn't mention earlier, I also happen to prefer the Roland DS action to the Korg Kross/Krome action, though neither are among my favorites. And going the other way, I didn't mention that Korg supports 5 simultaneous insert effects, DS supports 3. But again, if it's about the sounds, and you like the Krome sounds more, that could be your answer right there.

I know you said the MODX7 is too expensive, and everyone draws that line in different places, but personally, at the $1250 for the Krome, I'd also consider the $1500 for the Yamaha. Krome does have some advantages (and again, sounds are subjective), but I think the MODX is a particularly strong board.

And going in a different direction, for a well-priced keyboard with more than 61 non-hammer keys, you could also consider the Numa Compact 2X. It has plenty of limitations compared to what we've been discussing, but also gives you some significant advantages of its own... aftertouch, 9 real-time synth or organ drawbar or MIDI controls, and what I find to be a better feeling action than the Korgs and Rolands we've been talking about. Its internal speakers can be convenient, too.
 
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Do you have any good Musical Instrument Stores within a reasonable travel distance of you?

Quite honestly I do think that you would be best served spending your time learning the ins and outs, the pros and cons of your FA rather than researching and considering every other keyboard in your price bracket.

Once you have a thorough understanding of your FA and your playing ability has improved to a level you are satisfied with I think that you will better placed to understand what your future needs will be.

The Yamaha MODX that Anotherscott quotes is a very capable keyboard but there is a big but imho, in that the Yamaha operating system is very different to the FA whereas those in the Korg's are more similar to the FA. This is one reason why I would suggest that if you do get to a a Music Store that you play as many different instruments as you can irrespective of your budget.

Try those quoted keyboards, then try a Korg Kronos, a Nord Stage 3, and try a couple of Arrangers a Yamaha Genos and a Korg PA4X/1000/700. If there are any other makes then those are worth a try but some that in particular that Gary quote are not readily available in the UK so if you see anything that is new to you then do take the opportunity to play it.

Once you have rattled the ivories of a range of keyboards you surely will be better placed to understand what is available, unfortunately in some way there is a very large selection available which can add to the confunsion.

Good Luck.
 
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Quite honestly I do think that you would be best served spending your time learning the ins and outs, the pros and cons of your FA rather than researching and considering every other keyboard in your price bracket.

Once you have a thorough understanding of your FA and your playing ability has improved to a level you are satisfied with I think that you will better placed to understand what your future needs will be.
Your concerns are duly noted... ;)

The Yamaha MODX that Anotherscott quotes is a very capable keyboard but there is a big but imho, in that the Yamaha operating system is very different to the FA whereas those in the Korg's are more similar to the FA. This is one reason why I would suggest that if you do get to a a Music Store that you play as many different instruments as you can irrespective of your budget.
The Yamaha boards do seem to be very different from the other brnds as far as OS is concerned. Moreover, DAW integration seems to favour Cubase (obviously as it is owned by Yamaha), but at the same time, limiting other DAW's in functionality. Lot's of people having trouble, for example, connecting the MODX to Logic Pro X (or even a Montage, MOFX or MX). Not very promising.

That Krome EX seems appealing but the keybed isn't very good, apparently.
The Juno DS does seem to overlap too much with the FA, contrarily to what has been said here.

DAW integration with Logic Pro X is important, and I guess I will try to go and visit a store to try them out. The MODX does seem to be a good choice, though, but I'm worried about that DAW integration. Really don't want to go the Cubase route...
 

SeaGtGruff

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I can’t imagine why Yamaha synths would have more trouble connecting to Logic Pro than other synths do. While I don’t have Logic Pro, I’ve had trouble connecting my Yamaha keyboards to any of the several DAWs that I’ve used.

Are they talking about the specific ways that Yamaha integrates some of their synths with Cubase as far as using specific buttons to do things like start recording a track, play back a track, rewind a track, fast forward a track, etc.?
 
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I took the liberty of comparing a few keyboards, not too expensive, and ended up comparing two, the Korg Kross 2 and the Roland Juno DS61, both costing the same.
I won't add to the specifics of the Kross 2 v DS61 debate as I have extremely limited experience of both. Not sure you'd go wrong either way, personally.

Some additional thoughts however:

I'm not sure if your comparison was virtual or physical. If you're able to, I'd try and audition both 'boards in a shop in addition to all the on line research you're obviously doing.

Think about how each 'board sounds and feels to you. Consider how easily you think you can cope with the UI.

Finally, if you know what you want to "do" with your second keyboard, make sure the feature set available contains what you need. That's all it has to do. Otherwise you can get stuck in the weeds for an eternity, constantly second guessing yourself and never making a decision and getting down to the important stuff: Making music!

I remember many years ago a salesman in a store trying to push a Nord down my throat. "It does this, it does that, look at this cool feature". Couldn't argue the truth of what he was saying, only thing was none of it was of any importance to me.
 
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This isn't very good:

Any other keyboards with 61 or 76 keys that have this issue (Juno DS, MODX, etc.) ? Is this typical for semi-weighted keys ?
Also, when playing, the whole keybed seems to move with every press of they keys you're playing.

I guess I'm spoiled with my 88 key FA-08...
 
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This isn't very good:

Any other keyboards with 61 or 76 keys that have this issue (Juno DS, MODX, etc.) ?
This is exactly why I said, "I also happen to prefer the Roland DS action to the Korg Kross/Krome action, though neither are among my favorites" and "you could also consider the Numa Compact 2X {which} I find to {have} a better feeling action than the Korgs and Rolands we've been talking about."

It is common for low-cost non-hammer-action boards to feel increasingly stiff as you approach the rear of the key. To my fingers, the Korgs (Kross/Krome,KingKorg) are the worst (which is a shame because other than that, I think they feel pretty nice); the Rolands (DS/FA/VR09) are better but still pretty bad (they are sufficiently better that I still prefer playing the Roland keys to the Korg keys); the Numa also exhibits this behavior but not as badly and it crosses my personal threshold of it not being a significant factor; the MODX7 is best of the bunch in this respect. This is a major issue in key feel, but certainly not the only one... i.e. even though the MODX7 exhibits this less than the Numa, I still slightly prefer the Numa feel overall. But action preferences always have an element of subjectivity.

Regardless of which you choose, remember that you can always use your FA-08 keys to play its sounds too.
 
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Right, just spent half an hour in a store. And the thing is, when playing, I’m not finding it easy/practical to switch between a weighted keyboard and a semi (or non) weighted keyboard.
What I want to do is use my DAW to record the accompaniment and then spread out the other (lead) sounds over the two keyboards (for me personally, more practical than to split just the one keyboard or change sounds all the time).

So, I’ve been thinking (again). I’m pretty sure I want a weighted keyboard as my second one. The MODX7 is off, then, the MODX8 is out of budget, as is the Krome EX88. So that leaves the Juno DS88, Korg Kross 2 88 and the Yamaha MX88.
They had the Juno DS88 and the Yamaha MX88 on display. The DS88 keyboard feels practically identical to my FA-08 (there’s supposed to be a slight difference, I couldn’t tell, to be honest), and I’m liking the MX88 as well. Couldn’t try out the Kross 2 since they didn’t have it on display.

The Juno DS88 is nice, but so is my FA-08, and I find them a bit too similar. Going for another brand will give me access to different sound libraries, so, it’s between the MX88 (which I have tried and like) and the Kross 2. The small, simple LCD display on the MX88 is not really a deal breaker for me, and I like the Yamaha sounds ; also, it has a quality feel to it and feels very sturdy, even though it’s made of plastic. As for the Kross 2, has anyone played the 88 key model ?
I would go for the Yamaha MX88 but the Kross 2 88 has just had a temporary price cut at the online store where I bought my FA-08. Current price for the MX88 is 950 euro, the Kross 2 88 goes for 650 euro...
 
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Took a chance and ordered the Kross 2 88. For that price, it can't be beaten... 635 euro, that's what the Kross 2 61 normally costs !
If I don't like it, I can always send it back and buy another one (money back guaranteed if you send it back within 14 days)...
 
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Glad you are sorted, cannot beat getting hands on.

That seems a good deal pricewise.

Hope it works out for you.

Meanwhile there are the Korg Video Manual instructional videos to watch and the manual is available to download.

I was advised by Korg that an update to the available sound library is due within the next few weeks, but I will not hold my breath waiting, Korg are extremely slow at updates.
 
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Thanks, I've got my work cut out for me ;)
Oh, and bought the K&M Spider Pro, seemed like the best option for two 88-key keyboards...
 
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My goodness it has been an expensive few weeks for you.
 
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Well, not paying full price for the Spider Pro since I sent my first stand back ;)
 

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I remember many years ago a salesman in a store trying to push a Nord down my throat. "It does this, it does that, look at this cool feature". Couldn't argue the truth of what he was saying, only thing was none of it was of any importance to me
Sales people generally have agengas not necessarily to benefit the buyers needs. Sales people are just focused on moving stock. They will sweet talk you into a Roland if they get a bigger commission regardless of your desire to want a Nord.

Buyers beware. Don't get suckered!

Anyway congrats on your purchases @Kaneda

Ray
 
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Congrats on your purchase - I'm confident you'll like the Kross 2 I hear good things about it - as I do the Juno DS!

Col (Biggles) will be a great resource for you, particularly in coming to grips with Korg's UI as he is a keen Kross user.

Personally I find Korg keyboards a dream to navigate once you get your head around their unique way of doing things. I had to set up a backlined Kronos (which I was completely unfamiliar with) for a gig in less than an hour a few months back and found it pretty easy just because I understood Korg's lingo.
 
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As Paul (Cowboy) stated the Korg interface is well, ...... it does takes effort to get into the Korg mindset.

I describe it as trying to learn Klingon, the manual itself is a joy to behold but best of all once you get into the menu system for a particular Program or Combi the possibilities of adjusting the sound profile is huge. I am still getting to grips agin with mine after an enforced extended double layoff (wrist injury and then a recent hip replacement op).

Once learned you can then easily transpose that knowledge into other Korg keyboards as there are a lot of similarities.
 
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Thought I was going to have the Kross 2 today. They delivered all the rest, except for the keyboard. Called customer service. Won't receive it until Monday. Blasted Belgian postal services ! :mad:
 

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