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  • synth or electric piano?

    Hi, I am very new to playing music, all I know is a few chords on the guitarr.

    Lately I've been looking for a new hobby and gotten into "FL studio" (music production program).
    So something I'd like to know is this:
    If I buy a synth(keyboard), can I get good piano sounds off of the internet that sounds just as good as a electrical piano? If so, is it the other way arround too? Say if I'd buy a eletrical piano, assuming I plug it into my computer, can I play all sorts off synth sounds with my electrical piano?

    If so, what are the feutures of a expensive synth/piano that makes people buy them instead of a rather cheap one?

    And what would you recommend me to buy, based on my needs? I can spend up to $1000 but I wouldn't want to spend that much if the difference in quality is rather narrow.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    When you say electrical piano, do you mean a "digital piano" that would have acoustic piano sounds, or an electro-mechanical piano like a Rhodes, Clavinet or Wurlitzer?
    http://www.reverbnation.com/christianschulze

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    • #3
      I say synth.
      all sounds were from guitars,keyboards,grooveboxes and vocals

      no tunrtables,bass guitars,acoustic drums or midi pickups were used in these recordings

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      • #4
        wowa, I guess I mean a digital piano

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        • #5
          You can get piano like a Korg sp-250 stage piano and use its MIDI out to drive synths on a computer. That will give you a weighty piano-like feel.

          Or you could buy a synthesizer of some sort and use its MIDI to drive, say, Pianoteq, on a computer. That will give you a lighter organ or synth feel.

          I can't advise on synths but the aforementioned Korg sp-250 ($700) has decent piano sounds and an excellent keybed. If you become fanatical about piano sounds, you can add something like Alicia's Keys or Pianoteq to your computer.
          There is more than one way to do this. Notes Norton

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          • #6
            I bought my stage piano about a year ago, i used NI Kontakt 4 with their upright piano and the Vienna grand piano...I then got a synth and I use the stage piano as a controller. Still very much in piano lesson mode.
            2006 PRS Singlecut Trem Satin Blue Matteo
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            "http://www.youtube.com/user/mnewb1

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            • #7
              Welcome to the forum,

              The problem with those digital pianos is if/when you want to control pitch and modulation on non-piano sounds. They got no pitch/mod wheels, and despite their excellent piano sound and keybeds compared to most synthesizers, they are useless as true MIDI controllers. I do not know if there are digital pianos out there that have pitch & mod wheels.

              It is, of course, not a problem if you will *only* use piano sounds.

              Just something to keep in mind
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              • #8
                Welcome to the forum,

                The problem with those digital pianos is if/when you want to control pitch and modulation on non-piano sounds. They got no pitch/mod wheels, and despite their excellent piano sound and keybeds compared to most synthesizers, they are useless as true MIDI controllers. I do not know if there are digital pianos out there that have pitch & mod wheels.

                It is, of course, not a problem if you will *only* use piano sounds.

                Just something to keep in mind


                then add something like this for another $200

                There is more than one way to do this. Notes Norton

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                • #9
                  then add something like this for another $200



                  Your link led me to this one. Very nice board.

                  Fantastic what this musician was able to do.

                  No need for the mouse.

                  Shoemakers wear the worst shoes.
                  You left your ISO on Auto. That's a no-no.
                  Click here to search HC forums.
                  SoundClick
                  SoundCloud
                  YouTube

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                  • _Titus_
                    _Titus_ commented
                    Editing a comment

                    Excellent Idea!


                • #10
                  I do not know if there are digital pianos out there that have pitch & mod wheels.


                  Some do. But not, as far as I know, for under $999 USD new.

                  Keys and Pads: Arturia Analog Laboratory 49, Arturia Spark, Korg Kronos 61, Korg nanoPad 2
                  Strings: Carvin Bolt HSS w/ Wilkinson vibrato
                  DAWs: FL Studio 10, Sonar X2 Producer
                  Plugs: Arturia V Collection 3, Crypton Vocaloid 2 Megurine Luka, Korg Legacy Collection, Madrona Labs Aalto, NI Guitar Rig 5, Toontrack Superior Drummer 2.0

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                  • AnotherScott
                    AnotherScott commented
                    Editing a comment

                     

                    Mediterranean wrote:
                    The problem with those digital pianos is if/when you want to control pitch and modulation on non-piano sounds. They got no pitch/mod wheels, and despite their excellent piano sound and keybeds compared to most synthesizers, they are useless as true MIDI controllers.

                    That's a bit of an overstatement. It depends on your playing style. I don't think Keith Emerson ever used a pitch bend wheel. But yes, it is better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them. ;-)

                     


                    Citizen Klaus wrote:
                    I do not know if there are digital pianos out there that have pitch & mod wheels.
                    Some do. But not, as far as I know, for under $999 USD new.

                    Yamaha CP33. 

                     

                    The forthcoming Casio PX-5 will have better built in synth functionality.

                     

                    But getting back to the OP, a bigger issue may be, if you want to learn to play piano with piano technique, you should get a board with a weighted action. For synth/organ sounds, an unweighted action is better.

                     

                    In a way, asking whether your first keyboard should be a piano or synth is kind of like asking whether someone's first guitar should be an acoustic or an electric. There's no right answer, and you can learn the basics on either, but depending on your goal, one is likely to be more suitable than the other.


                • #11

                  And what would you recommend me to buy, based on my needs? I can spend up to $1000 but I wouldn't want to spend that much if the difference in quality is rather narrow.


                  It depends on what you want more, and what you're willing to sacrifice. Synths aren't very good at emulating pianos, and digital pianos aren't very good at emulating synths. You'll also need to consider what sort of keys you want. Synths use unweighted (or lightly weighted) keys, while digital pianos generally use heavily-weighted keys meant to simulate the feel of hammers striking strings. If you ever plan to transition to an acoustic piano, you'll want the extra finger strength you'll get from playing weighted keys. But weighted boards can be pretty expensive (the cheap ones generally start around the upper end of your budget, though there are exceptions, like Casio's Privia series) and they can make life more difficult if you want to do synth shredding.

                  As far as freeware computer programs go, there are a number of decent softsynths, but no decent piano emulators, as far as I know. (I'm sure there are probably some crappy ones, but piano emulation is one area where you generally get what you pay for, and no more.)

                  For your purposes, you may want to consider an entry-level workstation. You'll get nice (unweighted) keys, decent piano samples, and some quite excellent synth samples, plus lots more for all of your bread-and-butter needs. These boards also work well as MIDI controllers, should you want to expand your rig in the future or delve more deeply into software. And you'll get sequencing and basic accompaniment features that will aid you at practice time. Instruments to look at include Korg's 61-key M50 (~$1100) and Yamaha's MOX6 (~$1200). Some sellers are currently closing out Kurzweil's 61-key PC3 for ~$999 USD, which is another deal that you should strongly consider. Any of these boards would be an excellent choice.

                  Keys and Pads: Arturia Analog Laboratory 49, Arturia Spark, Korg Kronos 61, Korg nanoPad 2
                  Strings: Carvin Bolt HSS w/ Wilkinson vibrato
                  DAWs: FL Studio 10, Sonar X2 Producer
                  Plugs: Arturia V Collection 3, Crypton Vocaloid 2 Megurine Luka, Korg Legacy Collection, Madrona Labs Aalto, NI Guitar Rig 5, Toontrack Superior Drummer 2.0

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                  • #12
                    Thank you all for the great information!
                    I'm thinking I should probably start with a synth. I will look into all of your recommendations.
                    More recommendations or if you like someone elses recommendation, "+1's" are greatly appriciated!

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                    • #13


                      $400--nice deal! Strictly a controller (no onboard sounds) but would certainly cover the OP's needs assuming he is game to use strictly computer sounds.
                      There is more than one way to do this. Notes Norton

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                      • #14

                        Klaus is right. If you're definitely serious, the best approach is both: synth and piano, learning them at the same time. But that takes a lot of commitment, not just cash

                        If you think you might be serious, and if you'd like to be able to play a piano when you see one somewhere, then I heartily recommending starting with a decent digital piano like a Casio Privia (any Privia or CPD-100 will do just fine, but some are portable and others are not. I'd only want a portable one, myself.) It's a lot easier to start on piano and shift to synth (or organ, which also has mostly unweighted keys) than the other way around. Meanwhile, you can definitely use the piano to play synth sounds on your computer (and there are some cool cheap & free ones).  It's a lot easier to get good cheap synth sounds for the computer than good cheap piano sounds.

                        It's a compromise, because there are synth licks that are nearly impossible to play on a piano action, and no pitch & mod wheels which are very important. But you'll develop the muscles and techniques that are necessary for piano, and adding a synth controller before long is inexpensive. But if you're far less interested in piano and much more in synths, then go the synth route. Just be aware that if you want both, this isn't the best approach by a long shot. IMHO, the piano is the most amazing musical instrument ever devised. I play electric and acoustic guitar, piano, electric piano, organ, synths, and even a bit of sax, clarinet, and flute (or, used to anyway). I might be best on acoustic guitar. But the things a good piano is capable of is truly amazing, and there's just no substitute.

                        learjeff.net

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                        • #15
                          If it's for actually playing the piano with realistic piano keys, try this setup with Ravenscroft or Keyscape samplings:

                          Click here to read this review before buying an expensive and useless digital piano that will kill your creativity and joy of playing..

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