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#1338192 - 12/31/09 10:23 PM Can't afford a Roland C-30, what then?
mr_bubb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/21/04
Posts: 19
Loc: Cambridge, Massachusetts
I am an early music enthusiast who plays digitals principally for the organ and harpsichord sounds. I really can't afford the phenomenal Roland C-30 digital harpsichord. Can anyone recommend a DP in the $1500-$2500 range with good (accurate) harpsichord and/or organ "stops"?

Jim

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#1338196 - 12/31/09 10:32 PM Re: Can't afford a Roland C-30, what then? [Re: mr_bubb]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11967
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Something that I'm just learning about now and you may want to consider is to find a DP that feels good and then use piano software that has the sounds you like, which you play via your computer. Pianoteq has harpsichord and fortepiano sounds that are pretty decent. However, I know harpsichords have all different sounds, so its up to you which you like. I'm sure there's other software out there you can compare with theirs to see what's best.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1338239 - 01/01/10 12:17 AM Re: Can't afford a Roland C-30, what then? [Re: mr_bubb]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: mr_bubb
I am an early music enthusiast who plays digitals principally for the organ and harpsichord sounds. I really can't afford the phenomenal Roland C-30 digital harpsichord. Can anyone recommend a DP in the $1500-$2500 range with good (accurate) harpsichord and/or organ "stops"?

Jim


So you don't care about the key feel of a harpsichord? I don't think you even want weighted keys. So why are you asking for a "DP"? DPs have 88 weighted keys. I'd think you'd want an unweighted or semi-weighted short keyboard. These are much cheaper.

Then you have to find a sound you like. You might be best using a sample library on a computer. There are many good ones. I have several sampled harpsichords that came on a multi DVD set of samples that Apple compiled and supplied "free" when you buy Logic.

There are many companies out there who do nothing but sell instrument sample collections Here is one that does. Their MP3 examples sound nice to my ears but I know very little about Harpsichords

http://www.sampling-cds.com/index.html?d_605_Dutch_Harpsichord___Edition_Beurmann244.htm

There are many other collections like this each sampled from a different period instrument. THese guys, Real Samples, are nuts about quality, one of there drum collects has over 100 velocity layers

Harmony Central is a good website for user reviews that is un-edited by the retailers. The reviews go back many years. They review everything from Acordians to digital pianos to sample libraries. Here is a link to sample library reviews. Yu can get a feel for what's out there.

I would play these sounds through EXS24. Here is what EXS24 looks like. It allows you to play the samples "straight" or to tweak the sound.
http://www.zoom-in.com/music/logic-quicktips/applelogic/logic-quicktips-exs24-sampler-part-1


So in short. Find a keybaord you like that has the "right" size and feel. Connect it to a computer. Find a sample library you like and load it into a sampler you like (ESX24 or some other) then the sounnd come out a USB audio interface and then to monitor speakers. Don't go cheap on the speakers.

The above would fit into you budget. I think even if you have to buy an Aple Macbook to rather then use whatever computer you might have

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#1338262 - 01/01/10 01:52 AM Re: Can't afford a Roland C-30, what then? [Re: ChrisA]
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
Yamaha CP300 or S90xs should have good harpsichord and organ voices you want within your price range. see if you can find them at some store to try out.

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#1338271 - 01/01/10 02:26 AM Re: Can't afford a Roland C-30, what then? [Re: signa]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4345
Loc: Northern NJ
The harpsichord samples in the Yamaha P120/140/155 are very nice, better than they really need to be IMO. They have the key up sample where the pluck passes by the damped string, and aren't overly stretched. You would have to listen to the two organ samples to see if they would work for you, I think they are just OK.

But Pianoteq probably stomps all over them in the harpsichord department (as it does in the piano department). And if the presets don't do it for you, you can fiddle with them until you are blue.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
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#1855279 - 03/02/12 11:47 PM Re: Can't afford a Roland C-30, what then? [Re: mr_bubb]
kdr152004 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 88
Are there any clavichord-like midi controllers out there? perhaps a midi controller with mini wooden keys?
_________________________
"Play Bach constantly. That will be your best means of progress." -F.Chopin

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#1855336 - 03/03/12 02:08 AM Re: Can't afford a Roland C-30, what then? [Re: mr_bubb]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3588
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
As others have suggested, see if there is cheaper product from Roland that uses a similar action to the C-30. Buy the cheapest version of it you can, they buy some software instruments like Pianotec - it really is very good for harpsichord. I can only assume that the harpsichord sound is easier to model than the piano is - since they only have to model one string rather than trichords. Then get some decent speakers or headphone and you'll come out of it thousands cheaper. Unfortunately I don't think you will find any cheaper keyboard that simulates that notchy feel you get on a real harpsichord when the quill is pushing on the string and then plucks it. That's a limitation you'll have to accept (unless you want to open up an action and find a way to install it yourself!).

I'm not sure the action of an organ and harpsichord are that similar though. I think you'll want two separate controllers for each.

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#1855349 - 03/03/12 03:24 AM Re: Can't afford a Roland C-30, what then? [Re: mr_bubb]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 806
What about the Roland C-230? In Europe, it sells for ca. 2000 € (as opposed to 3.500 for the C-30).
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.

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#1855621 - 03/03/12 04:00 PM Re: Can't afford a Roland C-30, what then? [Re: maurus]
kdr152004 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 88
can't find the c230 for sale anywhere frown
_________________________
"Play Bach constantly. That will be your best means of progress." -F.Chopin

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#1855636 - 03/03/12 04:48 PM Re: Can't afford a Roland C-30, what then? [Re: mr_bubb]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 806
@kdr152004: Where are you based?
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.

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#1855666 - 03/03/12 05:47 PM Re: Can't afford a Roland C-30, what then? [Re: mr_bubb]
stringless Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 143
Loc: Idiocracy, USA
How about a used one?

I don't see why electronic instruments should be any different than "real" instruments -- not many are able to afford that shiny new Mason & Hamlin.. so they buy an older one.

Electronic ones won't have the litany of "old piano" (harpsichord, in your case) aches and pains -- they'll have their own but I think a tired digital action shouldn't be too hard to service, as long as one sticks to the established names like Roland, Kawai, Yamaha, Korg, etc -- the ones with a few decades of track record. Parts and service should be available.

I aspire to have a roland c-330 digital organ. Brand new, I can't swing that. So one day, hopefully in the next 3 years, I'll get a used one.

Sometimes it's the only way left to go -- should I want a Hammond C or B, well... they haven't been made since the '70s.

The way I see things, our "things" aren't truly ours -- we just merely care for them for a while, until the next person takes over... It is in this manner that we still have violins made 300 years ago, watches made 60 years ago, etc.

I feel thinking like that also makes the world suggested in "Imagine" that much more accessible... if we have no possessions..
smile
_________________________
o.O

A hammered piano, minus the strings. Brilliant!

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#1856088 - 03/04/12 12:48 PM Re: Can't afford a Roland C-30, what then? [Re: stringless]
kdr152004 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 88
i'm in the bsoton area
_________________________
"Play Bach constantly. That will be your best means of progress." -F.Chopin

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#1856199 - 03/04/12 04:40 PM Re: Can't afford a Roland C-30, what then? [Re: kdr152004]
kdr152004 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 88
@stringless, new ones are quite hard too find, and used ones pretty much don't exist....i guess they're so nice that no one is giving them up
_________________________
"Play Bach constantly. That will be your best means of progress." -F.Chopin

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#2017893 - 01/20/13 03:15 PM Re: Can't afford a Roland C-30, what then? [Re: mr_bubb]
ApexKeys88 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/04/09
Posts: 8
You're not going to get the right harpsi or organ action with a DP, and harpsi voices on most digital keyboards just don't cut it.

You might look into Roland's Classic Organ C-200. Like the Roland C-30 Digital Harpsichord, it's almost impossible to locate one within driving distance in order to try it out. That's a big gripe I have with Roland.

I cannot speak for the C-30 Harpsi since I can't try one out, but I do have the C-200 Organ. Very briefly here, the organ voices are excellent, and you get a great spread of stops that can be properly registered. But that's for an organist to really scope out in review. I personally think the organ voices are quite good.

The harpsi voices, 8I & 8II, deserve some hands on comment. Each voice has a problem with 2 keys in the area of mid C + 1 octave, depending on how you set the tuning. Those 2 keys are volume excessive and tacky, hence buyer beware. They may or may not bother you, tho, so my statement here could be somewhat subjective.

However, objectively speaking, when coupling 8I + 8II, it sounds like a 12 string guitar, with very widely spaced detuning, and in my opinion, completely unplayable when coupled.

There are two pianos, a Forte Piano and a Grand Piano. I can't comment on the Forte, having never heard one. But the Grand Piano voice is actually quite good and very pleasant to play over.

You cannot tweak the velocity, but you get used to it, and can in fact adjust it a bit with the tone control.

Having said all that, the C-200 is best with an external amplified speaker system, maybe played with the C-200's internal amp/speaker system.

The C-200 goes for about $2,400. Organ style keys, they are weighted, the action is very solid and precise.

It would be nice of Roland to locate these two very important instruments in stores where we all could try before we buy. The C-200 would not be difficult to return, it's only 26 pounds without the packaging, but the C-30 is large and heavy.

I have tried many different digital keyboards over many years, searching for the right harpsichord voices. Your average workstation or synth will most likely not be the right one, assuming you have a sharp ear for harpsichord timbre. The C-30 and the C-200 look the part, like real instruments. Now, we need to get them out there where we can see them and try them.

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#2017933 - 01/20/13 04:27 PM Re: Can't afford a Roland C-30, what then? [Re: mr_bubb]
Vectistim Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 317
Loc: Reading, UK
I think you need to go down the Hauptwerk software route for decent harpsichord and organ options, with proper stop control.

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