What rack synth module work fine with Kurzweil SP6 ?


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As the title sayes ... I don't know what to get.
I just wanna toy around with melodies and sound
and then show the kids how to do it ...
Do to money issues it can't be a new one.
Probably an older model, but good quality,
maybe lots of nobs and buttons to toy with
ore better easy to use, cause I'm to stupid to be dumb ;-)

PS would be good if the model is available in Sweden
due transport cost to Sweden are huge.
 
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happyrat1

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Nord Rack, Waldorf Blofeld Desktop, The New Minilogue XD Desktop, or Behringer's Deepmind 12D or Neutron, or Model D or the upcoming Crave.

Any of these are great and suit all sorts of budgets.

My advice is to wait for the Crave to be released. It's supposed to be released for 199 Euros sometime later this year.

Gary ;)
 
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The question is, what do you want the module to do that you can't already do in the SP6?
 

happyrat1

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He asked for a rack synth module and he said he wanted to play around with sound so I assumed he was talking about VA and analog synths, not adding another ROMpler.

Gary ;)
 
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Yes, the SP6 has a lot of sounds and 10% of them are good, funny or wired. Im sure the SP6 has a lot off funktions I haven't found yet ... or I don't understand... the manual that comes with it really sucks ... they always seem to be written for folks who already know ...
I bought the SP6 in first place fore my kids to have true pianosound to play on, and for the quality.

Thanks Gary, I'm gonna check out the models. 199Euro is kind upper limit but I've got some time ...
 
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He asked for a rack synth module and he said he wanted to play around with sound so I assumed he was talking about VA and analog synths, not adding another ROMpler.
The SP6 does include a VA synth engine, too.

So getting back to the question at hand... the SP6 does let you "toy around with melodies and sound" so I guess the focus should be on the other part, "maybe lots of knobs and buttons to toy with" and easy to use. So we'll take the "rack" part out of the equation, because it doesn't sound like you need it to be in a rack, which at any rate is an awkward place to put something if you want to play with its knobs and buttons.

Korg Volca Keys is a low-priced, easy to use synth with a nice assortment of knobs and buttons. Fun to play with, and it should be pretty easy to quickly grasp what the different knobs do and how they affect the sound, so a good learning tool. Along the same lines, a Yamaha Reface CS might get into your budget if you find a used one. Yes, it has keys, but that can also be convenient, and it's still small, and you still have the option of playing it from the SP6 keys when you want to. Note that neither lets you save your sounds internally, which is fine for just tinkering as you play, but if end up with some sounds you want to be able to recall, you'll need to use an external utility. Yamaha has their own iOS app and their "Soundmondo" web-based service, and for the Korg, I found this: https://ask.video/article/new-articles/new-korg-volca-keys-editor-lets-you-store-presets-automate-controls-in-your-daw
 
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happyrat1

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Compared to the Behringer Crave the Korg Vol;ca is really toy like and much less bang for the buck.

Yamaha's reface series suffers from a lot of the MIDI limitations that other boutique synths have.

Gary ;)
 
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Crave looks great, too, though for this purpose, I wonder if being monophonic might be off-putting. But if they don't need polyphony for this, sure!

What are the MIDI limitations you're talking about re: Reface/Boutique? (Though again, keeping in mind the purpose at hand, I think that as long as it recognizes the keys, pitch, and mod wheel of the SP6, its MIDI implementation should be sufficient.)
 

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My experience with a Roland JD-Xi left me feeling cold as MIDI was not fully implemented in the unit. It was impossible to reassign voices to any channel except the defaults and I have no doubt that Yamaha has made similar compromises in the design of the Reface series to save money.

For polytonic VA synths the OP has the option of using VAST in the SP6 once he gets a handle on programming it, while the monotonic Crave is more than adequate for exploring the classic MOOG sounds of the 60's and 70's.

Honestly I doubt he'd be able to even find a used reface for anywhere near 200 Euros these days as people still pretty much expect to sell them for almost what they paid for them originally.

I considered myself lucky to pick up a used Minilogue, not the XD, last month for $450 after extensive haggling. It still currently sells new in Canada these days for $699 CAD.

BTW, two websites the OP can refer to for assistance with programming and finding downloadable patches for his SP6 are :



Those are the go to websites for Kurzweil support these days.

Gary ;)
 
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My experience with a Roland JD-Xi left me feeling cold as MIDI was not fully implemented in the unit. It was impossible to reassign voices to any channel except the defaults and I have no doubt that Yamaha has made similar compromises in the design of the Reface series to save money.
JD-xi isn't a boutique, but regardless, I can assure you that the Reface CS does not have the problem of not being able to assign different parts to different MIDI channels, because it only has one part! ;-) Its MIDI implementation is minimal, though, you're right about that. It defaults to Omni mode whenever powered up, and you'd have to send it a string to turn Omni off, and also to change the receive channel to something other than 1 if desired. Volca is better if this is an issue. I'm guessing Crave will be as well.

For polytonic VA synths the OP has the option of using VAST in the SP6 once he gets a handle on programming it
It may be a bit of a leap from being comfortable with a Crave/Volca/Reface to being able to program VA sounds on an SP6 with VAST using its computer editor.

Honestly I doubt he'd be able to even find a used reface for anywhere near 200 Euros these days as epople still pretty much expect to sell them for almost what they paid for them originally.
Not counting VAT, it's 276 Euros new, and it's been out for some years, so I thought finding a used one at 200 might not be out of the question... but I don't know, and I don't really know about the VAT variable.
 

happyrat1

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I believe on the Crave as well as on my Neutron, MIDI channels are fully assignable with 4 DIP switches on the rear of the unit. Just set it and forget it. And the crave has a built in step sequencer. A nice feature my Neutron lacks so I had to add an Arturia Beatstep to compensate. From the previews I've seen, build quality of the Crave is top notch too. I may end up buying a couple and chaining them once they come out as well.

As for programming VAST into the SP6, once he becomes comfortable with loading and unloading patches he can find hundreds of community supported patches for the PC3 and PC3K on the websites I linked.

Granted with the limited FX chains and lack of sample memory on the SP6 some won't sound right or even load at all but half the fun is figuring out what works and finding the occasional gem in the treasure hunt :)

Gary ;)
 
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The SP6 does include a VA synth engine, too.

So getting back to the question at hand... the SP6 does let you "toy around with melodies and sound" so I guess the focus should be on the other part, "maybe lots of knobs and buttons to toy with" and easy to use. So we'll take the "rack" part out of the equation, because it doesn't sound like you need it to be in a rack, which at any rate is an awkward place to put something if you want to play with its knobs and buttons.

Korg Volca Keys is a low-priced, easy to use synth with a nice assortment of knobs and buttons. Fun to play with, and it should be pretty easy to quickly grasp what the different knobs do and how they affect the sound, so a good learning tool. Along the same lines, a Yamaha Reface CS might get into your budget if you find a used one. Yes, it has keys, but that can also be convenient, and it's still small, and you still have the option of playing it from the SP6 keys when you want to. Note that neither lets you save your sounds internally, which is fine for just tinkering as you play, but if end up with some sounds you want to be able to recall, you'll need to use an external utility. Yamaha has their own iOS app and their "Soundmondo" web-based service, and for the Korg, I found this: https://ask.video/article/new-articles/new-korg-volca-keys-editor-lets-you-store-presets-automate-controls-in-your-daw



Looks like I don't know what the SP6 really is ... in my mind its a stage piano with some included sounds and some too load in from Kurzweil libary. I toyed with rhe wheels and the reverb knob (it gets roomy but that kinda kills the sound) ... wich there was a book on it instead of that stupid little manual ...
 

happyrat1

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There are tons of online resources including the two I mentioned for Kurzweil products.


There are also 3 manuals and a ton of software available for download and printing out.

Are you sure you haven't seen all of them?


Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

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There's also a few youtube tutorials out there to explain the manuals in plain English.


Gary ;)
 
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Granted with the limited FX chains and lack of sample memory on the SP6 some won't sound right or even load at all
The SP6 is actually surprisingly capable. No sample memory, true, but user programs (and especially ones using the VA engine) don't generally require custom samples, and SP6 includes the full set of PC3 and Kore64 waves (and then some), and it supports the full 32 FX units, which is the max of any Kurzweil. Of course that still doesn't mean everything will work flawlessly. ;-)

Looks like I don't know what the SP6 really is ... in my mind its a stage piano with some included sounds and some too load in from Kurzweil libary.
Although it is presented as a stage piano, it also includes Kurzweil's KB3 tonewheel organ engine and VA1 virtual analog synth engine, and a pretty comprehensive set of non-piano instrument samples. You should download the free editor for it (Mac/PC... there's also an iPad app, but I don't know if it's as full-featured). Even if you don't understand it yet, just going through it and looking at the screens will give you an idea of just how much more than a stage piano it really is! You may still like one of the other synths we;ve been talking about, because there is fun and education to be had from manipulating lots of dedicated knobs to create sounds in real-time (and each has its own sonic character). But if you're willing to dig in, you'll probably be amazed at what you can really do right within the SP6 itself, too.
 
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WOW ! Thank you for the informations ... Now I feel kinde stupid not checking out the SP6 more ... I have no idear what a KB3tonwheel does or what the 32FX64COREsample is intendet to do ... but the gonna occupy my time fore quite some while ... I bought it used for about 900Euros and now I think I made a catch :) ... because of it I now drive a 500Euro SKODA instead of a 1500E TOYOTA ....
I actually checked out the kurzweil hompage before buying but that's made for selling the new boards, and do to my not so great english I just gave upp. There was a comparing video on youtupe SP6 vs yamaha or was it roland, and I thought the SP6 sounded more like piano. On the other hand seems these comarisons always sound in favour of the first model in the title, so I think they are rigged.
 
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happyrat1

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That's OK Homer. Keep drinking beer and eating donuts and now you have a new keyboard to explore as well. :D

As the poets say: "All's well that ends well..." :)

:)

Gary ;)
 

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