Switching from a hardware setup to a software setup for professional gigs.

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Hi gang. I know there is a recent topic on software suggestions for live performance, but the ones I saw there seemed to be aimed at a lower level then I had in mind. Basically, I've been using a Korg Triton 61 for 12 years, with a weighted 88 key board attatched to it, midi'd together so that the triton does all the sounds and controls. I just select midi channels on the other one. However, my beloved Triton is aging, and as I'm much more into computers that I was in highschool, it makes sense for me to switch to a laptop as my brain.

I'm playing in a professional cover band, mostly doing corporate entertainment shows, so reliability of gear, smooth transitions from setup to setup, and availability of high quality samples are essential.

So basically, I'm planning on buying a 13" Macbook pro, and a good piece of software. Possibly some extra sample libraries too. Oh, and an audio interface, and a 4 way midi box. But the real questions is the software. Any comments on what I should check out, or better yet, some good suggestions of tutorials or demos that I could watch or try? The two main ones I have in mind are Ableton Live, and Logic Pro Mainstage. I'll just be using them for live performances with no sequencing or triggering. Just layering up very complicated combis of many sounds, mapped all over multiple keyboards. Also, any suggestion of other professional grade software I might want to consider would be very welcome! Thanks a lot for the input!
-cullam
 
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I love hardware setups, personally. However, before I made my decision when I had money to spend, I was looking at muse receptors very seriously. I love the idea of a standalone VST computer.
 
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Yeah, the Receptor definitely looks interesting. It's a bit pricier, which is fine, unless I don't think much of the sounds it comes with already. Because then I'd have to also spend a lot of money on extra plug ins. Any idea how the grand piano, and the organs are in the defaults that are included?
 
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I'm playing in a professional cover band, mostly doing corporate entertainment shows, so reliability of gear, smooth transitions from setup to setup, and availability of high quality samples are essential.
Hardware for reliability, ease of set-up.

Great sounds to be had via VSTs - but I'm back to all hardware for live. Another VST issue you may not realise until you try gigging them - they aren't always easy to set up for mono.

Some great new hardware keyboards out there right now.

Muse's Receptor is a good compromise if you want to access those VSTs. If you're serious give the Muse people a ring and talk over your requirements. I'd gig with two (one as a backup) - if I was spending my cash over again.
 
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Well, mono isn't an issue for me. We use a stereo in ear monitor rig, and always go stereo to the mains. And at this point, I'd much prefer to start setting up my cross keyboard, multi layered performance modes on something with a proper GUI, and the ability to back up and transfer them, rather than doing it on another keyboard, and having to start from scratch again in 10 years when I replace it. Also, I've been starting to build some of my own stuff, some of it in Max/MSP, and some of it just writing myself in various languages. So I'd love to be able to incorporate some of that at some point, although it's not an immediate priority. But the consensus around here appears to be to go with the Receptor rather than the Mac. Anyone know what the sounds that actually come with it are like? Not the 30 day trial ones, but the real ones. For planning budget, I'm going to need to figure out if I'm going to need to buy a lot of pluggins for it. Thanks guys!
 
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Native Instruments just came out with their latest version of Komplete. Very popular, very reliable samples. They have an organ VST called B4 or something like that. I heard it a lot on youtube, in stereo, good recordings, and made me cringe....
 
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Yeah. Also - I just got the new Joey DeFrancesco album doing covers of all Michael Jackson tunes. He uses his Diversi organ and actually uses pitch bend. WTF? I hope Diversi pays him $$$$$ cuz when he plays their gear, it sounds like paper.
 
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I have both hardware and software set-ups. I only use the software system in the studio, as it is not as reliable for live use and the hardware. I also agree that a Receptor is the best option if you want to runs VST's live. Don
 
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Drew, the Neo Ventilator is a leslie 122 modeling device housed in a "stomp box". My background includes owning and gigging with a number of (real) Hammond / leslie set-ups in years gone by. But, along the way I had to give up hauling such heavy gear. Still, I have always looked for some way to replicate the real Hammond- leslie sound but always found the clones and leslie sims to be a major disappointment. Until recently, I had not been using an organ in my rig, but missed having that as an option. My ex-wife said I had a "mania" about finding something to replace my B3, because I tried so many different clones...ergo my screen name "B3 Maniac".
The Neo Ventilator got so many rave reviews in other forums that I finally decided to purchase one and give it a try. Hooked to my (late version) Korg CX3, I was really surprised at how authentic (and good) it sounds. I'm using a small ART tube pre-amp, then into the Ventilator, with the Ventilator output to my stage mixer. It is the absolutely the closest thing to having a real Hammond and Leslie that I have ever heard, and actually look forward to getting to gig with that set-up.
I have a few videos posted on Youtube from a recent gig with a soul band called "Essence". Search under the user name "TheB3maniac" and scroll down until you find the "essence" band videos. Some of them have the CX3 in them, and even though the camera mic isn't too good, you can still get a taste of how good the CX3/Vent combo sounds. Just my opinion reflected here... so you milage may vary. Don
 
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Drew- PS I had a problem I created by splitting the keyboard on the CX3 (by accident), so I fiddled with that a bit in the videos trying to get it going again. Don
 
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Don, that's really far out dude. It's nice to see something that, like you say, comes really close. I've kicked around the idea of getting a chopped B3 or A model, but STILL dont wanna deal with the weight. I've finally decided to just buy a leslie 6 to 11 pin connector box and bring my leslie on gigs, with a nice padded cover, connected to the XK3C. Can't wait to try it out....I assume I'll have to play with the tone on the xk3c because I'm sure the leslie will darken up the sound quite a bit. Probably have to over compensate with a lighter tone. The overdrive will sound amazing though.

Drew
 
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Drew, using the leslie with the XK3C should be a great combination. I looked at the XK series in recent months, and the XKC3 is the best in my opinion. Nothing beats a real leslie, so you know it will sound great when you get the XK3C dialed-in for it.
Don
 
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