Suggestion for arranger keyboard with workstation capabilities and solid keys


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Hi. New here.

First off, Merry Christmas to all.

Second, I'm looking to buy an arranger keyboard. I already have a Roland Fantom workstation which allows me to record songs and then micro edit the notes in a track if there have been any mistakes or rhythmic errors. However, that keyboard is vastly out of date, using only a 3 1/4 inch floppy disk. It also doesn't have solid keys, and you can't actually play anything together with any styles. This can, in my opinion, hinder creativity and doesn't allow me to compose by thinking outside the box or playing in a style I wouldn't usually play.

I'm therefore looking to replace this with an arranger. However, while there are many arranger keyboards out there on the market that would allow me to play along with all the hundreds of styles, I'm looking for one that would still allow me to record and micro edit the songs with an inbuilt sequencer like I could do with a workstation. I'm also looking for something with solid keys this time as I prefer the feel of a real piano.

Is there something like this on the market?

Or if not, would the solution be to simply buy an arranger and then buy a separate sequencer or sequencing software?

Any help appreciated.

Thanks.
 
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happyrat1

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Merry Xmas back atcha...

Maybe a Roland BK-9? Since you're already used to Roland it would mean less of a learning curve.


Gary ;)
 
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Thanks for the suggestion. That does look good, and in fact looks like the kind of keyboard I should've had all that time before instead of the Fantom. Of course, the BK-9 didn't exist back then, and I was thinking purely in terms of sequencing, which is why I went for a workstation rather than an arranger, which didn't turn out to be so great from experience.

But I see the BK-9 doesn't have weighted keys, which this time round, is a must for me.

I've come across another couple of keyboards: the Korg PA-588 and the Korg Havian 30, both of which are digital piano arrangers with built-in sequencers. The PA-588 is a little bit older though by about 7 or 8 years, while the Havian, I believe is from this year.

PA-588:


Havian 30:


I think the Havian would have all the features I would want. I'm also familiar with Korg, as I've used them before Roland, and I also found Roland much more difficult to get into than Korg.

But I don't know if it would be best to have a keyboard with an inbuilt sequencer, or simply to get an arranger and then use a separate sequencing program like CuBase. If I were to do that, then I would consider just getting the cheaper Yamaha DGX650 digital piano which is about half the price of the Korgs:


Do people still get inbuilt sequencers with their keyboards? I can see the advantages of both internal and external ones.
 

happyrat1

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Personally I do all my sequencing on the computer with Cakewalk programs.

Even though my Kurzweil PC3K8 has a 16 track sequencer built in I only use it for arps and riffs that end up on my computer sequences.

Likewise, consider this as well. When all your sequencer files are stored on a computer format they become extremely portable for future obsolescence. You can always export them as SMF or keep them in native sequencer format and use them years later no matter which keyboard you may end up with.

Compare that to using a particular model keyboard's inbuilt sequencer format which you will have to pray to find conversion programs for if you wanted to even export as a bare bones MID file 10 or 15 years down the road.

Honestly I'd have to say that you'd be better off buying a new keyboard based on how it sounds to your ears rather than whether or not it has a whizbang sequencer built in.

Then again, if you are looking for a variety of loadable styles that you can jam with, then you are still better off with an arranger style keyboard. In that case you should be looking at all the available arranger keyboards out there specifically with the weighted hammer action keys which you desire. But be warned these are more often found on workstations than they are on arrangers. Arrangers tend to be limited to 61 synth/organ style keys rather than 88 weighted hammer action.

My advice is to shop around carefully, do as many live auditions of as many different makes and models as you can and let your ears be the final judge.

Merry Xmas,

Gary ;)
 
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I think Tyros might be good but it hasn't got weighted keys......although the keys are designed to be slightly heavier and more piano-like than on psr
 
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Over on the psrtutorial.com forum, many of the Tyros owners, up to and including the $6000 Tyros 5, still complain that the Tyros sequencers, even though they are 16 track, are still more closely akin, in features, to the 6 or 7 or 8 track song recorders of the lower price and entry level arrangers than they are to the full blown, full featured 16 track sequencers of the Motif line. A little unlike happyrat1, I do ALL of my initial takes, whether it be a "quick record - all tracks in one pass", or a one track at a time project, at the keyboard with its on-board sequencer. Then, I port it to the PC and do all my editing and mastering with Sonar - just a workflow quirk I developed over the years. But, when I had my Motif XS, I could have done everything on the keyboard with its sequencer. I could have even plugged in a mouse and driven many of its features with that, but it has been my experience to notice what the Tyros owners complain about. Arranger sequencers (song recorders ?) just never seem to include all the features of a typical ROMpler (Motif, Fantom, Kronos, etc) workstation sequencer. I do not know if this is a design limitation of the arranger sequencers having to automatically provide for one-touch recording of the rhythm, and upper, and lower tracks as well as single track capabilities, or if it shows manufacturer prejudice in assuming that the typical arranger owner would just not be interested in a full featured 16 track sequencer.

When considering an 88 weighted key unit, what I would call a "stage piano", you have to be very careful and do your homework in reviewing the spec sheets, so as not to be disappointed. These units typically have very limited tone and rhythm palettes (if they have rhythms, at all) compared to 61 and 76 unweighted key arrangers, and here again, many (most ?) have the 6 track song recorders with little or no editing capabilities like entry level units, rather than full sequencers.
 
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Hi. New here.

First off, Merry Christmas to all.

Second, I'm looking to buy an arranger keyboard. I already have a Roland Fantom workstation which allows me to record songs and then micro edit the notes in a track if there have been any mistakes or rhythmic errors. However, that keyboard is vastly out of date, using only a 3 1/4 inch floppy disk. It also doesn't have solid keys, and you can't actually play anything together with any styles. This can, in my opinion, hinder creativity and doesn't allow me to compose by thinking outside the box or playing in a style I wouldn't usually play.

I'm therefore looking to replace this with an arranger. However, while there are many arranger keyboards out there on the market that would allow me to play along with all the hundreds of styles, I'm looking for one that would still allow me to record and micro edit the songs with an inbuilt sequencer like I could do with a workstation. I'm also looking for something with solid keys this time as I prefer the feel of a real piano.

Is there something like this on the market?

Or if not, would the solution be to simply buy an arranger and then buy a separate sequencer or sequencing software?

Any help appreciated.

Thanks.
 
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Had a BK-9 sent it back its a great arranging keyboard, but you can only layer three parts. I need 4 for live shows. I finally got the Yamaha S-70-SX, real piano feel great arranging, 76 keys,but heavy as hell, check the S70 before you buy. BK has better organs, but Yamaha has better strings pianos and horns.
 
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Ohhh ! Scott - WOW !

Excellent choice on the S-70 ! I am truly envious ! I've been trying to come up with the funds for several years, but haven't made it there yet. That's the Motif XS sound engine. That 142 Mb S-6 piano sample is hard to beat.

The key feel on that thing is superb. Enjoy ! ! !
 
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Ohhh ! Scott - WOW !

Excellent choice on the S-70 ! I am truly envious ! I've been trying to come up with the funds for several years, but haven't made it there yet. That's the Motif XS sound engine. That 142 Mb S-6 piano sample is hard to beat.

The key feel on that thing is superb. Enjoy ! ! !

Ted, I couldnt afford it either so I saved half, and pulled out the old plastic, damm, now more debt, but im 60 and youu cant take it with you
 

happyrat1

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I'm pushing 60 myself, and I went into debt when I picked up my Kurzweil PC3K8 a few years ago as well.

I paid it off over 6 months and never regretted it for a moment.

If we can't spoil ourselves a bit at this age then when the hell can we?

Otherwise what are we saving the money for? I'm sure as hell not going to leave it all to my spoiled nieces and nephews :p

Gary ;) :D :D :D
 
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I'm pushing 60 myself, and I went into debt when I picked up my Kurzweil PC3K8 a few years ago as well.

I paid it off over 6 months and never regretted it for a moment.

If we can't spoil ourselves a bit at this age then when the hell can we?

Otherwise what are we saving the money for? I'm sure as hell not going to leave it all to my spoiled nieces and nephews :p

Gary ;) :D :D :D

Yeah Rat you got a point, ya cant take it with ya.
 
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Fred Coulter

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One question I'd be looking at is what you're planning on doing, musically. Are you planning on playing out? If not, happyrat1 has a great point. Keeping your keyboard and your sequencing separate would be far more flexible. Get yourself a good 88 note weighted keyboard and do you sequencing on a computer with a decent sized monitor. Heck, you could use the computer as the sound generator, too.

On the other hand, if you are planning on playing out, I'm not at all convinced that this is the way to go. Computers freeze up far too often compared to keyboards.

I've got a DGX-650 and am very happy with it. But I'm doing little, if any, sequencing with it. So my experience may not help you at all.

Best of luck.
 
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