So, in the end, WHATS BEST FOR A PIANO SOUND ON STAGE?!


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Tell your toughts about the best(s) option(s) for playing a dig.piano on stage.
A (very very veery)good old Romplayer with the practical and failproof integrated sound? or the 88keys midi controller with the laptop, the soundcard and the software? Other...? (sound modules, samplers...?)

And WHICH -rompler, -midi controler, -laptop, -software....????

What are the best options I got, I want to get a Kawai es6 or a yamaha cp33, but for the same (or little less) money I can get a nice midi controller, a sound card for latency and a laptop with, lets say, pianoteq.
BUT IM NOT SURE !!!

I dont want to carry lottttttssss of things, or to have the OS or the software on the laptop to fail on live gigs. Are softwares SO MUCH better than romplayers d.pianos?
 
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Not a single MIDI controller has brilliant keys and the graded effect technology like CP33 (i know cause i own one). The feel is just brilliant, and so are the sounds.

Pianoteq sounds very good but i wouldn't take the chance of taking a laptop on stage and possibly getting windows to freeze :)
 
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Software will almost always sound better because there's so much more memory for sampling, plus you can stream from your hard disk into RAM. Will software sound better than a good rompler to the point that you wouldn't want to consider just using a hardware keyboard in a gig? Probably not, especially if the house speakers aren't the best money can buy.

I'd try out a few stage pianos, and if you're happy with the sound, go with one of them and avoid the hassles of using a laptop. Really, the only really good reason to buy a laptop instead is if you need a new computer for other purposes as well as gigging.

You could also go with a Mac instead of a PC if you were going to go the laptop route, if stability of the computer is a concern.
 
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my opinion is it's just waaaay too much fuss and waaay too much trouble over something that IS simple, and must stay that way.
 
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'

I'm with both Kanthos & Sysryn on this one.

Your question was about what sounds best ON STAGE.

A good quality 'dedicated' digital piano wins hands-down on more than one count, namely...

1. Feel - current MIDI-style keyboards are nowhere near as 'user-friendly' as even a
cheaper stage piano. Therefore the 'expression' you would like is much more limited.

2. Sound quality - unless you are playing through a studio-quality sound system live (I've not heard one yet that is!)
then as long as you portray to the audience what your piano part is, that's as good as you can hope for!

3. As previously stated - the chances of a 'crash' are next-to-nil.


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What are the best options I got, I want to get a Kawai es6 or a yamaha cp33, but for the same (or little less) money I can get a nice midi controller, a sound card for latency and a laptop with, lets say, pianoteq.
I'm not sure where you can find a GOOD midi controller, GOOD sound card, AND laptop (with enough horsepower for music) and software for what you can buy a CP33 (under $1100 USD) for. If you can, I'd love to know about it.

For the money, you won't find a better option than the CP33, both sonically and midi features (maybe the Kawai MP5, as it has two more zone controls).

A laptop, controller and software is NOT the way to set up a primary stage rig, unless you're going to have a redundant system backing you up. One should always have a hardware keyboard somewhere in their setup, for when a computer goes down. Laptops always crash or freeze at some point, its just a matter of when, not if.

Some here may beg to differ, but we're talking about a live stage rig here.

Buy a stage piano with decent midi controller capability (like the CP33) as a foundation keyboard, and then if you want to add a laptop rig, that's fine.

Your mileage may vary.
 
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Laptop and MIDI controller would probably have most realistic sounds but is too much hassle and too much chance of software/hardware crash... :eek:

I just bought TWO digital pianos for live use (I play weddings/banquets as well as bar gigs and pickup gigs/freelance), after literally years of research/study/procrastination :eek:: a Yamaha S90ES and a Roland RD300GX.

Loved the piano on the S90ES but it is HUGE so I got the 300GX as a smaller, lightweight alternative for some gigs. The Roland RD700GX has a great piano sound and fantastic keyboard action as well but I found the Yam. S90ES to have a little bit more of a "well-rounded" sound set, otherwise I really liked the Roland RD700GX.

The Yam. CP33 is very good too but limited soundset and I don't like the strings on it as much as Roland's strings - definitely check out the Roland RD700GX or its little brother the RD300GX. :cool:
 
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I use a very heavy Yamaha P200, love it to bits though :) Main thing is the van and havin mates to help carry the bugger.
 
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Pianoteq sounds very good but i wouldn't take the chance of taking a laptop on stage and possibly getting windows to freeze :)
You are right about THAT. So don't use Windows. Buy a Macbook Pro. The best piano sounds today come from software emulations. I agree 100% with the above - Windows is the weak link.

In addition to the MBP you are gong to need a good audio interface. The MBP has optical S/PDIF output, that can go to a D/A and from there. I think the best piano sound comes from high end stereo equipment, not from PA speakers.

That said, all of the high end stage pianos sound good to me but I don't think any are good enough for a solo piano concert playing clasical music. It's really the speakers. No matter how good the source the sound still sounds like it is comming from speakers. The best you can hope for is for your digital piano to sound just like a recording of a grand piano. And I think we are very close to that now with software instruments.
 
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MIDI kicks ass if you don't get dizzy setting all that stuff up pre gig. If you're underage/cash strapped like myself, take a well sampled digital piano and amp it. That's also really versatile if you've got an effects loop like I do. I use a Casio Privia and just run it into a Peavey. Just depends on what kind of $ you've got.

But yeah, software is the best nowadays if you can use it.
 
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MIDI kicks ass if you don't get dizzy setting all that stuff up pre gig. If you're underage/cash strapped like myself, take a well sampled digital piano and amp it. That's also really versatile if you've got an effects loop like I do. I use a Casio Privia and just run it into a Peavey. Just depends on what kind of $ you've got.

But yeah, software is the best nowadays if you can use it.
I think that current state of the art is such that all pro level stage pianos have good enough grand piano sound that they could be used in a band on stage. When you add the other instruments into the mix the piano will sound good.

But if the goal is to play classical solo piano works I think you still will need a real grand piano. You can compare MP3's of good keyboards and MP3s recorded from a mic'd Steinway and they may sound the same. But you can tell in a second a real piano from an MP3

What I'm saying is that if the music is to be played through speakers the piano tones in stage painos are good. But differences happen very quickly as you move to other sounds. Most are horrible at Guitar sounds and not much better at woodwind. These non-piano sounds diferentiate the instruments quickly

I would prefer a self contained instument, one that makes sound all by intself. Then if there is something it can't do I can add a computer and sofware later. I'd hate to be 100% tied to a software instrument. Not because it might crash. (I've never seen Logic running on Appl's Mac OS X crash.) Adding a computer means you need a table and more wires and cases to store and transport all of it and if you depend on it yu need backup equipment and spares.

I don't think you need the computer if all you want are piano tones. Everyone does that well. But if you want (say) a good sounding overdriven 70's guitar sound or jazz saxophone tone out of a keyboard you will need a computer and software (and skill and luck)
 
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check out the new Korg M50-88, link it to you computer and use it like a soft synth but you can take it on the road as a great bit of hardware. Or a Roland X8 which are fantastic both in the studio and live.
 
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But if you want (say) a good sounding overdriven 70's guitar sound or jazz saxophone tone out of a keyboard you will need a computer and software (and skill and luck)
I use a Yamaha PSR 550 for most of my effects, and I have to say that there are some brilliant sounds out of it. Especially the acoustic sounds like for example guitars and saxophones. So if you are looking to get these sounds out of a keyboard, you dont need software and a computer. The Yamaha PSR range has a brilliant sound card when it comes to these types of instruments especially.

That being said, I wouldnt use this keyboard for a piano sound, I use a Korg Stage piano. Which ironically, is only useful for a piano effect really, the other sounds are terrible, especially the hammond. ugghhh
 
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check out the new Korg M50-88, link it to you computer and use it like a soft synth but you can take it on the road as a great bit of hardware. Or a Roland X8 which are fantastic both in the studio and live.
M5088 is a great value but doesn't have very good acoustic piano sounds - acoustic pianos are Korg's weakness, even their digital pianos aren't the greatest, when compared head to head w/Yamaha or Roland.

A used Fantom X8 would definitely have better acoustic pianos. The Korg M5088 is great for just everying else except pianos.
 
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I currently have been using a combination of stage piano and laptop set-up.
For piano, I am using a Yamaha S80 (great keyboard feel) midi'd to a Motif ES rack.
For organ I use the laptop with a firewire midi/audio interface running NI B4ll
with a 61 key synth action controller. So far, I like this set-up and both sound great.
B3
 
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