Stage Piano to replace Macbook/Mainstage Based Rig


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hi

I am looking to replace a Macbook Pro/Mainstage based rig that uses a Yamaha CP33 stage piano, an Oxygen controller and a keytar as the 3 midi controllers. There is also a USB Hub and A/D converter in this rig, on top of whatever amp or PA i'm using. I'm having dropouts on the Mac and I'm living in mortal fear of having a disastrous failure during a gig.
So....
I want to eliminate the computer/Mainstage/USBHub/A-D Converter and and buy a new stage piano to generate all sounds. By my account I can replace 2 active components and four cables with just a cable from the other board to the new one. And I can sleep at night.

I need to be able to split both the main piano and my other controller(s) as I have a few songs with 4 and 5 different patches loaded across two boards. It's very important to know that i can split the other keyboards...

I need some pretty unique sounds (bagpipes, harmonicas, some particular FM synth sounds, etc). I need some reasonable amount of control over all that so I can generate them if they don't exist. Also would like to know there's an FM synth on board

Need to load audio samples and play them back easily. We have a few recorded things we use at the beginning of some of our tunes (dog howls, kids laughing, etc. Need to do all that, and there's one song where I play a synth lead but four of the keys need to trigger a real quick wav file. I think all the higher end boards do that (kronos, motif, etc).

Would be nice if this can all be controlled and modified on the computer as opposed to all via front panel.

I want 88 keys weighted and would like a nice action as this will be my main board. I'm ruling out Korg at this point due to some pretty bad reviews in this area.
The Roland RD800 is also out as it won't support loading my own samples.

So I'm wondering... What do I look at?
Kurzweil Stage Piano?
Nord Stage 2?
Yamaha Motif, and Mox

Brad
 
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Welcome Brad!
Well, I think the 3 choices you narrowed it down to are all good.

Ive never owned a Nord, but have always heard good things about them. I would buy one.
I owned a Kurzweil in the 90s. Best piano sounds out there in my opinion.
I currently use a Motif XS 8 in my home studio. I absolutely love this beast. I am partial to workstations anyway. The sounds are off the charts and you can edit and store them if you want to tweak any of them. The only down side to the Motif is its size. The 88 key Motifs have the metal chassis which makes them pretty heavy to lug around. I think its just shy of 70 lbs.

There is a pretty good video on youtube about David Rosenthals (Billy Joels keyboardist) stage rig. He uses Main Stage with MacBooks. He talks about cut outs and power failures and how he combats it. If memory serves me right, he does it through redundancy. Thats a costly route to go, but maybe you could find something useful in the video. Maybe save you the expense of buying a new board. Sorry, I don't know how to link it.

Take care, Bob
 
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Hey Bob thanks for the quick answer. I think i'm actually down to the Kurzweil or Yamaha as the Nord is in the same price range but lacks the capability. Plus I hear the action on the Kurzweil is pretty close to that of a top end Yamaha... Not sure if that's been your experience.

I did view that video you're referencing some time ago when I switched to Mainstage about a year ago. Again, thanks. Brad
 
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Hi
i'm looking at PC3's and the Forte and Artis in the Kurz line as I'm still figuring out which one is the minimum I need. I think for my needs any of those will do. For Yamaha I was looking at the MoxF8.
 
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"..Need to load audio samples and play them back easily.."

The PC3/Artis/Forte series do not load samples. The PC3K series does (up to 128MB) load instrument sample.

The PC3/PC3K series acoustic pianos are dated, the Artis Piano is very good and the Forte is "excellent". Also, Kurzweil just released the PC3A which is a PC3 with the Kore 64 board and the Artis Piano. Like the PC3 you cannot load samples, however about the only weaknesses in sound in the PC3 series are the acoustic piano and the brass/horns. The Kore 64 board inclusion (which has improved brass/horns) plus the Artis piano upgrade basically covers all of the 'weaknesses" the PC3 series had. Also, Kurzweil just released the Artis piano for the PC3K series, so a PC3K with the Kore 64 and Artis board upgrade would be an almost "equivalent" to the PC3A. Depending on the cost (PC3A) vs. the PC3K with the Kore 64 and the new Artis piano board upgrade) vs. the Forte vs the Artis, I think you might find the Artis as a stand alone keyboard to be the least expensive option. Biggest advantage of the PC3/PC3K/PC3A series is the deep editing you can do within the keyboard, via the screen. Artis and Forte deep editing (i.e. modifying effect chains) needs to be done via Soundtower hooked up to a computer. I'm not even sure that the Forte has this capability yet, I had read it was coming but not sure that it was actually released as yet.
 
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