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#2362722 - Yesterday at 10:40 AM Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase
Seraphmoon Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 12/17/14
Posts: 8
Hello everyone, I am a long time piano player, my friends and I are starting a Type O Negative and keys and vocals are falling to me. I have only ever played a piano so I am completely ignorant to electronic keyboards. I have been researching the last few weeks, so I know a little bit about workstations and such, but I wanted to ask someone who could recommend some gear.

I found a post that Josh Silver, Type O's keyboard player, posted on his gear, but it was back in 2004.

"This is what I use. A Roland A-50 controller for program changes hooked up to two yamaha foot pedals one for flipping through program chains and one for sustain. The A-50's four midi outs are connected to a Roland D-50, an Korg M-1, a Mirage antique sampler and a DSP-5 effects processor. The Yamaha DX-7 is only used to trigger an Emax sampler (rack). I use a Kurzweil 2000 keyboard, with Roland bass pedals hooked into one midi channel for foot triggering of samples (in real time) and I also use the keyboard to simultaneously play with hands. All the outs are running through a Mackie 16 channels mixer (with a PCM 70 or Yamaha rev 7), JBL power amp, and two Elite 2-15", horn and super bullet cabs, to monitor myself, sub mix myself and annoy the rest of the band. This set up is inefficient but it's difficult to cover 15 years of material with any degree of accuracy any other way."

I was wondering, since it is a decade later, is there a more efficient way to recreate the sound he was getting with that setup? I was wondering if there was maybe a single workstation that could do that? As I said before I am brand new to this, but I noticed live that he plays sounds on one keyboard, and is doing different sounds on another one at the same time. So does that mean that I will need at least a workstation and another keyboard, or maybe another combination? I have an idea what a workstation and an arranger do, but still am not sure about what a controller and a synthesizer do, which I know he uses.

Thanks in advance for any help, money is really not that big of an issue, I looked at some workstations such as the MOXF, Krome, and FA-08 and those are well within my range if they would fit my need. Any help would be appreciated.

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#2362736 - Yesterday at 11:00 AM Re: Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase [Re: Seraphmoon]
login Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/14
Posts: 45
Well to start is important to point out that he is using one synth (D-50) which has a very particular sound and you may not be able to achieve it without it, but roland usually puts it's most famous presets in some way in it's workstation. The korg m1 is a very early rompler and it also has it's character so it's not easy to replicate it's sound with something else.


The korg kronos might be an option it has synth engines, sample libraries and you can load your own samples.

Other option could be the Rolands jupiter 80 or 50, or their rack version the integra module.

if you are confortable using computers you could also look into software instruments: Omnisphere may have all the sounds you are looking for, or very similar, it's developer is the guy who designed the d-50. There is also a perfect software emulation of the Korg m1 (in the korg legacy collection).

There are many software samplers, depending on your needs and sounds you are looking for, stuff like Kontakt.

Other way to get a d-50 and sampling is getting a roland V-synth GT, or the rack XT, that have a d-50 emulation integrated, they can sample. And they are superb synths on their own.

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#2362741 - Yesterday at 11:12 AM Re: Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase [Re: Seraphmoon]
Seraphmoon Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 12/17/14
Posts: 8
Thanks for the quick reply and all the info! I must admit though most everything you said was WAY over my head, as I said I have never even messed with anything but my upright.

I guess I should have asked, what is the combination of equipment that I could get today that would get me pretty close to the sounds that he would have had available with his setup? I don't necessarily need a spot-on copy of his sound. For example instead of using a midi controller, 2 synths, an effects processor, an antique sampler (whatever that is), and a full sized keyboard, could I instead just buy a newer workstation that could come pretty close?

Also about the 2 different keyboard question in the original post, if I could just get a workstation to replicate his set-up, would I also at least need a synth so I could play piano sounds on one and say cello on the other? And if so, what equipment would you recommend?

Sorry for the basic questions and being unclear in my first post, I really just am not sure what I am looking for and am needing more expert advice than what I have available to me. Thanks again.

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#2362747 - Yesterday at 11:30 AM Re: Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase [Re: Seraphmoon]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3440
Originally Posted By: Seraphmoon
Also about the 2 different keyboard question in the original post, if I could just get a workstation to replicate his set-up, would I also at least need a synth so I could play piano sounds on one and say cello on the other?

You can split a single keyboard into two (or more) sounds from top to bottom... but then each sound is much more limited in terms of the range of notes it can play at any given time, which can be an issue. Also, different sounds play better from different actions... ideally, unless maybe your piano parts are very simple and without nuance, you want to play your piano parts from a weighted (or hammer) action; whereas synth parts are typically better played from an unweighted/semiweighted action... and based on the boards you're basing your request on, ideally one with aftertouch (which allows you to add expression to a note by pressing the key harder after you've played it).

One thing worth noting is that, the boards mentioned (D50, M1, Mirage, Emax) were old even 15+ years ago! But most popular older sounds can be emulated, to some extent or another, in newer boards. Mirage and Emax were samplers, so there's also the variable that you may be trying to reproduce, not "factory" sounds, but perhaps custom samples that player created.

It might be good to post your question on some board(s) frequented by more synth players, as opposed to such a piano-focussed forum like this one.

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#2362750 - Yesterday at 11:39 AM Re: Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase [Re: Seraphmoon]
Seraphmoon Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 12/17/14
Posts: 8
@anotherscott- Thank you sir. Could you recommend another board to post this on? I posted this a week or so ago on gearslutz.com, and after a dozen or so posts about how much I don't know, what a failure at life I am, and how I should just go kill myself, I decided to try to post my question on another site. A quick google search brought me here. Thanks again.

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#2362753 - Yesterday at 11:45 AM Re: Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase [Re: Seraphmoon]
login Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/14
Posts: 45
I think tis important to understand then there are two types of "synths" the workstations as the MOXF, FA08 and motifs. Those are loaded with samples mostly of acoustic sounds and some of "synths sounds". In this ones you can't design a sound from scratch, you can modify to an extent what ever they have on board already.

The other type of synth, the "pure" one is about designing sounds using differnt synth engines (substractive, FM, PCM, sampled based). The d-50 belongs to this kind of synth.

Your main problem is this: it is very hard to know to what extent the band designed their own sounds on the d-50 and the emu keyboards. If they are very custom sounds, programmed by them, then it will be very very hard to get them even with the same synths.

If they used presets (the sounds that come already programmed as "examples") then it is possible to get a close sound by getting a keyboard of the same manufacturer (they usually carry samples of the most famous presets from their classic synths): for roland sounds the Jupiter 80 and the FA may have it. For the m1 any korg would surely have some of the sounds.

So in your case I would get a korg kronos or krome for the acoustic sounds and a roland Vsynth XT (it's a rack) for the d-50 and sampling sounds.

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#2362775 - Yesterday at 12:49 PM Re: Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase [Re: Seraphmoon]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3440
Originally Posted By: Seraphmoon
@anotherscott- Thank you sir. Could you recommend another board to post this on? I posted this a week or so ago on gearslutz.com, and after a dozen or so posts about how much I don't know, what a failure at life I am, and how I should just go kill myself, I decided to try to post my question on another site. A quick google search brought me here. Thanks again.

LOL. Gearslutz is a world unto itself! ;-) Try the Keyboard Corner at forums.musicplayer.com - also, brand-specific sites can be helpful for this kind of thing. For example, if you want to see whether a Kronos might work for you, you could try posting at http://www.korgforums.com/forum/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=60

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#2362880 - Yesterday at 04:49 PM Re: Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase [Re: Seraphmoon]
Seraphmoon Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 12/17/14
Posts: 8
Awesome, thanks guys very helpful! I will check out those keyboards and that site.

And yes, I have never been exposed to such a group of elitist pricks in all my life!!! I posted in the NEWBIE section mind you, and I got flamed like you wouldn't believe. I have to come to the conclusion that the members of that site are the most bored, unhappy, or just plain biggest jerks on the web. I swear it takes them 100 times longer to tell me how I am wasting their time, IN THE NEWBIE SECTION, than to just give me a 1 paragraph answer to my question! Don't look at the freaking newbie posts if you don't want to read newbie questions you freaking morons!!!

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#2362886 - Yesterday at 05:07 PM Re: Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase [Re: Seraphmoon]
Seraphmoon Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 12/17/14
Posts: 8
@login- If I were to go the route of the kronos and the roland Vsynth XT, since the roland is a rack would I need a midi controller (not sure if that is the right piece of equipment) to operate it? If so could you recommend one? I also noticed that there was a Vsynth GT that had a keyboard built in, would that be a route I could go and not need 2 pieces of equipment? Thanks again.

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#2362895 - Yesterday at 05:39 PM Re: Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase [Re: anotherscott]
toddy Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1860
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: anotherscott

LOL. Gearslutz is a world unto itself! ;-)


Yes. Prod some of those old-ass session guys with a stick and you'll be in for a big surprise.
_________________________
Roland HP 302, Yamaha SY85

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 /Kontakt 5// EWQL Sym Choirs/ Sym Orchestra Silver/ MOR2
Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

"Only a fool is fooled" pv88, All Fools' Day 2014.

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#2362906 - Yesterday at 06:08 PM Re: Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase [Re: Seraphmoon]
login Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/14
Posts: 45
Originally Posted By: Seraphmoon
@login- If I were to go the route of the kronos and the roland Vsynth XT, since the roland is a rack would I need a midi controller (not sure if that is the right piece of equipment) to operate it? If so could you recommend one? I also noticed that there was a Vsynth GT that had a keyboard built in, would that be a route I could go and not need 2 pieces of equipment? Thanks again.


You can control the VSynth XT from the kronos, I dont know for sure what MIDI control features it has you may check it.

I suggested the rack because it could be the "smallest set up" (one keyboard plus one rack). But you could get the keyboard (v Synth GT).

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#2362938 - Yesterday at 07:51 PM Re: Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase [Re: Seraphmoon]
Seraphmoon Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 12/17/14
Posts: 8
Ok awesome, thank you sir.

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#2362958 - Yesterday at 10:10 PM Re: Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase [Re: Seraphmoon]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12205
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Just some advice from someone who is still learning. Don't sweat it if you can't get it all at the beginning. It may be better to simply start somewhere. Find a workstation that has sounds similar enough to what you want, and learn how to use it. It probably won't be the only synth you buy, but there are so many more options out there with software synths that as you learn, you'll be able to get closer to the sound you want.

FYI, I just finished a course on Coursera.com called Introduction to Music Production put on by Berklee, and it was phenomenal. Really helpful to kind of get you started in the basics. Perhaps something like this would be helpful alongside researching on your own and just getting a decent workstation. Korg, Yamaha, or Roland are all good options, just pick whichever you feel is the best for you.

When trying to emulate a band, since you probably won't be able to exactly replicate their sound, go for replicating their effect. Meaning, go for the essence of what they were getting at.
_________________________
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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#2362971 - Yesterday at 11:01 PM Re: Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase [Re: Seraphmoon]
Seraphmoon Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 12/17/14
Posts: 8
@Morodiene- Thanks for the advice! If you don't mind me asking, how much was the course?

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#2362975 - Yesterday at 11:08 PM Re: Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase [Re: Seraphmoon]
EPW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/12
Posts: 64
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
try kvraudio forums too. Instrument forum might give you ideas for software synths that you could use.

Also if you're into learning by video groove 3 has the all access pass for a whole year on sale for $99.00

http://www.groove3.com/str/home.php

Awesome deal in my opinion. I'd go check it out.
ymmv

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#2362979 - Yesterday at 11:37 PM Re: Synth/Keyboard beginner need help with equipment purchase [Re: Seraphmoon]
Seraphmoon Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 12/17/14
Posts: 8
@EPW- Thanks for the link man, checking it out now!

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