Which Synth for Bon Jovi Tribute!


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Hi All,

I recently got back into playing keys after 10 years as a pro bass player. I used to play keys to a reasonable standard.

I have landed a gig with a fun level Bon Jovi Tribute band.

I currently only have my new Kurzweil SP6, which is great for all the Piano and Organ parts, but I am going to need a second board, with synth action, as a top keyboard. The SP6 just doesn't quite have the right synth sounds as standard (I know I could probably get close with the PC editor) but I will need 2 boards anyway. SO the top board will be almost exclusively for Synth Sounds.

I am looking for a budget option, don't really have a limit as such, just don't want to spend too much as it might go nowhere! But I am thinking that to accurately recreate all those classic Bon Jovi synth sounds (Think Runaway, Living on a Prayer, Bad Medicine etc) I would probably want a full blown workstation keyboard, or a pure synth, but probably don't need the latest generation? It would also be nice to have the option of triggering some custom samples from the keyboard (Wind sound for Wanted Dead or Alive etc)

So, what are peoples top recommendations for minimal spend?

- 61 key synth action
- User Sample Triggering
- Good range of synth sounds and the ability to tweak them to sound bang on the Jovi Sounds.

I would love to go for a Korg Krome 61, just because it sounds so good, but that's a bit too much money for me and I'm not sure it does the user sample triggering, I was also considering a Juno DS 61 as that has the sample triggering but I don't know how good and flexible the synth sounds are.
I could go for something like a 2nd hand Yamaha Motif ES, I assume even though that is old tech now, it would be more than adequate for recreating those 80's and 90's sounds?

Any advice gladly received. If I can get away with a £200 eBay purchase all the better!

Many Thanks.

Will.
 

happyrat1

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You've already mentioned two of the top picks. The DS61 and the Krome 61.

Another two to consider are the Studiologic Sledge and the King Korg.

I'd say any of those would have you pretty well covered.

They don't really come any cheaper.

Gary ;)
 
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Thanks Gary,
Sorry for the noob question. But...
I'm pretty good with tech and sound shaping. I do sound engineering and home recording.
Do all of the synthesis above have the capability to completely shape sound if you can't find a preset that hits the spot?
I.E. with enough tweaking, should it be possible to recreate any synth sound I want using any of the above boards?
 
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Ticker

Can I suggest that you also look at a Korg Kross which is more of a direct competitor to the Roland DS.

I have a Kross 2 which you could buy new at £525 from most UK retailers and I think that this is better at sample triggering than a DS.

Do look at the Korg channel on Youtube where there are their Video Manual Tutorials for each of their models.

Conversely Rolands equivalent are labelled as by Product Support.
 

happyrat1

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I own a DS88. Sound editing can be done with a windows app or by deep diving in the menus. Personally I don't mess around that much with sound shaping on it aside from tweaking the envelopes and the resonance.

On the other hand both the Sledge and the King Korg are full featured virtual analogue units and while you have to do some menu diving on the King Korg the Sledge comes with oodles of knobs and buttons leaving nothing to the imagination.

There's a tutorial series on on Youtube of how to shape it for virtually any sound you can dream of from past hits..


About 60 of them so far.

Here's the channel where you'll find them.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvNM5I4gpa4MfzRiP3s2s5Q

I really can't speak that much about the Korgs though @CowboyNQ owns both models and he'll fill you in when he sees this thread.

Gary ;)
 
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I really can't speak that much about the Korgs though @CowboyNQ owns both models and he'll fill you in when he sees this thread.
Cheers Gary!

I can absolutely guarantee you any sound you'd want to do in a Bon Jovi tribute would be adequately handled by either the Krome or the King Korg. Or any of the others mentioned above, frankly. I'm not a Bon Jovi expert but from memory knowing the more popular songs it's generally sawtoothy synth pads which are bread and butter stuff for any synth.

The Krome does indeed sound fantastic @ticker, but possibly you would be paying for a lot of things you don't need - it's not a pure "synth" as such although I do use it as one when I can't be bothered dragging my KK out to gigs.

Do all of the synthesis above have the capability to completely shape sound if you can't find a preset that hits the spot?
I.E. with enough tweaking, should it be possible to recreate any synth sound I want using any of the above boards?
The answer to this is "yes" and "no". As Gary already mentioned, if you buy a VA synth like the Sledge or the KK these things are actually designed to faithfully copy the sounds you hear in old-school analogue synths, but without all the expense and hassle of actually owning an analogue synth. And all the sounds are very editable.

However, all synths are limited by their filter. This gives the synth its unique character, and is why an Oberheim will never sound like a Moog, which will never sound like a Jupiter 8, no matter how many knobs you twiddle. The good thing about the VA synths is they have multiple filter emulations which makes them very versatile. For example, the KK has an Oberheim filter, a Moog filter, etc. Does it sound EXACTLY like the original? No. Is it damn near good enough for band work? Absolutely. I'm sure the Sledge would be the same, I don't speak about that one as I've never used it but it's highly regarded.

If you wanted to do synth sounds only and have your EP, piano and organ sounds already covered by another keyboard, I'd have no hesitation in recommending the KK based on personal experience.
 
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happyrat1

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And the truth is that once the audience is likkered up and the guitars start blasting nobody will know if you are playing a keyboard or hammering nails into a dead cat anyway :D :D :D

Gary ;)
 

happyrat1

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One thing that I do love about my Sledge, though, is the channel aftertouch. Once you have that feature in a keyboard you are loathe to give it up for any reason.

Gary ;)
 
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Thanks everybody! Epic advice and tips.

I am very tempted by a Sledge or King Korg. Would be nice to get to grips with that type of Synth and it would be completely different to my SP6 so would be very nice!

But I am airing towards the Juno DS. 61. I really like what I've seen in videos. It ticks all the boxes and I have found one for sale 2nd hand in the City I work in, so might be able to get a bargain.

Thanks again for the brilliant advice. ☺
 
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