Travel keyboard woes and indicision

Discussion in 'General Keyboard Discussion' started by Eric Barker, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Eric Barker

    Eric Barker

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    It looks like I'm going to be flying to a few gigs in Massachusetts coming up in September. I play on a weighted 88key board. Combined with a flight case, it's both oversized and overweight, and over time, I spend a lot of money on oversized charges when flying to gigs. So I'm thinking about getting a small, unweighted board for travel gigs.

    But I figure, if I'm going to get a new board, I might as well get something I might use the rest of the year too, right? At this point, I'm very happy with my setup (laptop VI rig through an Arturia Keylab88 and Roli Seaboard). But the one thing that I would love is a dedicated Clonewheel organ. Been drooling over a Crumar Mojo for a while now. And at 22lbs, with a 25lbs flight case, I could sneak it in under the 50lb overweight/oversize limit for flying!

    That said, it's not an ideal controller board either with all the advanced features I typically use in my daily gigs, I could get by, but it might be tricky. The alternative is to get a Keylab 61, which would be identical to my main board in every way but be smaller. But frankly, I'd NEVER USE IT, because I love my Keylab88 and don't care for unweighted boards.

    So, get the (cheap) keyboard that's perfect for a job I only rarely do, or get a (expensive) board I can use all year, and half-ass on the travel gigs. I'll probably go for the Mojo (if the wife doesn't protest!), gawd is it kind of a pain. If I had a bigger house and didn't live out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (Hawaii), I'd go full-on guitarist and get a bunch of boards for different uses... and like a guitarist, never play them (bah!). But I'm not that kind of musician, I like to bond with my instruments and really make use of them.
     
    Eric Barker, Jul 11, 2018
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  2. Eric Barker

    Biggles

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    Decisions, decisions, decisions.

    Eric, I can feel your pain in your post.

    So this is a case of size matters.

    It may not be the ideal keyboard for you but I bought my keyboard on size and weight or rather lack of both.

    Take a look at a Korg Kross 2 its small in size and at 8 1/4 lbs it weights nothing.
     
    Biggles, Jul 11, 2018
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  3. Eric Barker

    CowboyNQ

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    Mate I'd be hiring backline.
     
    CowboyNQ, Jul 11, 2018
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  4. Eric Barker

    Eric Barker

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    Absolutely, if I could rent a Keylab88 on site at any location, I’d say screw traveling with a board. But unlike a MOX8 or Juno, you can’t possibly put an Arturia in a rider, no one has them. But that’s my baby, and I hate having to do a completely new setup on an unfamiliar board for a single travel gig. I mean, that’s sort of why I got into the laptop thing in the first place. But after a while, I really start to use all the features of my board, and eventually no other board will accommodate my workflow!

    As for the Korg. I have little interest in standalone romplers/modelers that mirror the same things as my laptop setup. I can travel with my laptop, that’s easy. So the easiest and cheapest solution would be to just get a small dumb controller like a Keylab61 mk2 ($500). But I’d hardly ever use it otherwise, same with the Kross. Where-as a really fantastic controller designed to do one thing well (like a Mojo or Korg VS1 for electric pianos), I’d be tempted to incorporate into my nightly setup all year.

    UPDATE: I just noticed GSi VB3-II organ VI just released for Mac! This is the same engine that the Mojo uses. This complicates things. Now it’s suddenly a little harder for me to justify getting a Mojo. Yeah, having a dedicated organ with legit drawbars (Keylab has standard faders) and controls would be useful, but it’s just one advantage that’s now not quite as big a deal. I do spend about half my sets on organs tho, the professional in me keeps saying, “you really should use a dedicated B3”.
     
    Eric Barker, Jul 11, 2018
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  5. Eric Barker

    Eric Barker

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    Second Update: I tried the new VB3-II... meh. Not impressed. I was always one of the few who thought B4-2 was superior to VB3. I was hoping version2 would change my mind, but it hasn't.

    Here's the thing, out of any B3 sim out there, B4-2 always had THE BEST overdrive stage I've heard, and had a very musical cabinet selection. Yes, there may be better tonewheel generators, and there may be better Leslie's, but as an all-in-one, I think it always had the best overall sound. My absolute favorite sound combines one tonewheel sim (Acoustic Samples B5) with a secondary Leslie sim (Melda Vintage Rotary), which is great for studio, but overly complicated live.

    But B4-2 is gonna die some day, and I HAVE to get off that train before it's too late. Nothing to my ears sounds anywhere near as good while being realistic for live use. But anyway, considering the Mojo uses VB3 as a sound engine, it's now out of the question. Which sucks, because all the reports are saying that people love the sound better than any other clone wheel out there.

    Grrrrrr.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
    Eric Barker, Jul 12, 2018
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  6. Eric Barker

    Biggles

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    But what would suck is you travelling thousands of miles only for your Laptop to fail/get stolen/ be dropped etc. Then you are left with a dumb effectively U/S controller keyboard.

    Have options.
     
    Biggles, Jul 12, 2018
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  7. Eric Barker

    Rayblewit Love Music / Love Life

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    I always thought the guy with the double bass got the bum deal.
    Imagine lugging that thing around.:eek:
     
    Rayblewit, Jul 12, 2018
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  8. Eric Barker

    Eric Barker

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    LOL, you said it. I toured cross-country with an upright player for a couple summers, that was tough. Love uprights though, so I can't blame him. We made it work. Lotsa U-haul vans and trailers.

    Yeah, anyway, hardware workstations aren't my bag anymore, kinda retired that workflow 7 years ago and never looked back. Though Biggles, you're not wrong in having contingencies. I do carry an iPhone connection kit so I can cover the basics in a pinch. Some kids these days go full-on iPad performance. More power to 'em, but I've looked into it, and it still seems like an awkward workflow for my taste. In 7 years of weekly laptop gigging I've never had a problem, so I'll admit to getting a little complacent (I don't always remember to bring the kit), but that reminds me that I should just pack it away in my gig bag and leave it there.

    But it would be nice to get a board that I could get some use out of the rest of the time. Can't say anything about the Kross has ever caught my eye for weekly use, it doesn't really fill any niche my main rig doesn't already provide. Korg SV-1 is a sexy beast I wouldn't mind having, really wish it had drawbars, though.

    For most of the kinds of music I play (rock, jazz, prog, folk), if worse comes to worse a piano and organ sound can usually carry me through a gig, so whatever option I go with, it should be pretty strong in those departments.
     
    Eric Barker, Jul 12, 2018
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  9. Eric Barker

    Rayblewit Love Music / Love Life

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    Eric,
    Are you playing professionally (for money) ?

    All costs including excess baggage and travel should be covered by the promoter and regardless of your heavy duty lugging maybe you should up your price to cover your costs and still keep your current setup.

    Add up all the associated costs and send the bill to the promoter.

    Ray
     
    Rayblewit, Jul 12, 2018
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  10. Eric Barker

    Eric Barker

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    Professionally? Normally, yes.

    In this particular case? Naw, not really. We probably won't be breaking even (considering we're flying from Honolulu to Cape Cod). It is my work band, but this is definitely a "vacation gig". Our drummer's celebrating his 50th, so we're throwing a big party in his home town. We've got a few paying gigs lined up at small local venues while we're there, but it's mainly for fun. I'm gonna have to eat my expenses.

    But I definitely have run into a lot of times recently while traveling (for fun or work), where I wish I could easily bring my own equipment and be done with it. I'm not crazy about unweighted boards, but I should probably grab one.
     
    Eric Barker, Jul 12, 2018
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  11. Eric Barker

    Eric Barker

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    HUGE UPDATE: Apple made a surprise announcement releasing a 32GB MacBookPro. I'd been holding off getting a new gigging computer for years because of this. So that will be the big purchase of the summer. I won't be getting any new keyboards for the immediate future. I'll figure something out for the trip, probably rent a board at the other end.
     
    Eric Barker, Jul 12, 2018
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  12. Eric Barker

    Biggles

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    OMG

    That is one sweet MacBook.

    Just been the Apple Store site, upgrade the spec to fastest 6 core CPU, 32Gb RAM, 1 Tb SSD results in a UK price of £3,700 ( $4800 US )

    Ouch
     
    Biggles, Jul 13, 2018
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  13. Eric Barker

    Eric Barker

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    Yeah... it's expensive AF. Gonna hold off a few months to make sure I've got my finances in order, make sure other users don't find some crazy defects, and I'll probably do a year financing plan.
     
    Eric Barker, Jul 13, 2018
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