Torn between MIDI route and Hardware keyboard for gigging

Discussion in 'General Keyboard Discussion' started by RossDaMusician, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. RossDaMusician

    RossDaMusician

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    Hi
    I play keys in a function band, at the moment just running a Yamaha MM6 61 key Synthesizer/workstation for all of my sounds. While the E-Pianos are great as a lot of the patches are similar or identical to the legendary Yamaha Motif, the brass sounds are underwhelming. The genre of music we play is Disco/Funk/Soul which as you can imagine is very taxing for keyboard parts. Although I play the saxophone too in the band for solos, the sound of a big brass section has to come from my keyboard and I often find myself with lots of splits and for some songs 2 patches with splits each. We play Street Life Randy Crawford which is a nightmare on keys as I have 3 patches! I am looking to upgrade my keyboard rig basically because the sounds are lacking a bit.

    Gear I currently own:
    Macbook Pro 15" loaded with Mainstage 3, Logic Pro X as well as Komplete 11 Ultimate (Amazing sounds)
    Komplete Audio 6 (For a better output if I do use my laptop for sounds)
    MM6 Keyboard Synthesizer/Workstation with stand (61 key)
    M-audio Keystudio MIDI Controller (49 key)

    Option one: Use my MM6 as a MIDI keyboard as well as my M-audio Keystation 49 to trigger all my keyboard patch changes and host the sounds. Also plug my MM6 into the PA and host a piano or basic brass patch in case my laptop fails so I can keep playing and reboot while continuing the set.

    Option two: Buy a new MIDI Keyboard to use with more functionality and MIDI buttons that my MM6 lacks and use that instead with my Keystudio 49 to play sounds hosted on a laptop. This is more unsafe because I have no hardware sounds if my laptop crashes which would probably be a bit of a nightmare. The keyboard I was looking at would be either the Keylab from Arturia or the Komplete S88

    Option three: Busk my butt off to save up for a hardware keyboard, I have the Nord Stage 2 in mind and I played one in a music shop and fell in love with how intuitive the interface is as everything is right in front of you instead of being hidden in menus. It is fairly light (73 key compact) and this is the most portable rig other than option 4 because I could carry the nord in a case on my back. which would be ideal as I will have no car when trying to gig at Uni only public transport/walking/friends with cars.

    Option four: Stick with my MM6. At the end of the day, the audience dancing aren't going to be complaining about my keyboard sounds, they are just going to be dancing. While at the end of the day my keyboard doesn't sound great it still does the job and it is only a few of the sounds that aren't amazing. The E-pianos and clavinets and other sounds work great just not the brass. It was the drummer of the band being picky about my keyboard sounds and while he is somewhat right do I really care or do I just want a new piece of gear? I am only 17 so I have loads of time in the future of my life to get gear, spend my money on lessons!

    Sorry for the long post, and I'd be interested to hear your experiences with using a MIDI based setup vs a dedicated workstation/keyboard. Have you experienced awful dropouts and crashes with a laptop? Do you think software sounds are overtaking hardware keyboards? Keyscape from spectrasonics sounds incredible. Thanks all :)
     
    RossDaMusician, Feb 28, 2017
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  2. RossDaMusician

    Fred Coulter Collector of ancient keyboards

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    Duplicate post. The other one has responses and comments.
     
    Fred Coulter, Mar 1, 2017
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  3. RossDaMusician

    RossDaMusician

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    Yes sorry I originally posted this first and then realised I had put it in the wrong section. So I made it again in the right section and I can't find the delete button for this one :(
     
    RossDaMusician, Mar 1, 2017
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