Man, I don't know how you live keyboard players do it!! Seems every piece of gear I get falls shy of being useful live! Everything seems targeted for the stay at home music maker!
My story in short.Using a Nord 2x Rack, a Motif ES Rack, and a Korg Microsampler to generate sounds. I started with a Studiologic SL990 and got an Akai MPK61 to run the rig and have two sets of keys. Only one midi out, so I bought a midi merger. It was after buying the MPK that I learned it did not send patch changes on preset load..but my work around was to set up buttons to send this out. So, load the preset, press three buttons and I am good to go. Not optimum, but workable... especially because the MPK allowed me to change the pad assignments with each preset, and then assign a foot pedal to play it. The samples I use are pretty important, from sound effects to preplayed accents I can't pull off live while holding down the main chords. So reaching over to that little keyboard to hit a tiny key is disaster waiting to happen. Chugging along fine until I learn that the MPK only has 30 presets. (Yup, actually found out when the band picked out song thirty-one) Hardly a nights music, no quick preset load from a memory stick, and I'm not spending a break setting up a laptop... back to the drawing board.
I went old school... Roland A-70, and it is designed for what I want to do! Patch changes, assignments, midi merger is out, I'm moving again and then another brick wall. Seems the MPK only wants to run the show, it will not take any incoming midi messages to change presets! So all the splits and pad assignments are dead to me unless I can remember to change presets for certain songs. What a disappointment.
I'm running out of money chasing my tail. Is there A) a keyboard controller with assignable pads and multiple presets that can be controlled itself? I do prefer the pads on the keyboard, and it must be foot pedal assignable, or B) Is there a standalone midi pad device that has a decent amount of presets, foot pedal assignable and can be apreset changed via midi that doesn't cost a fortune like the MPC series? Or any other ideas? My goal is pretty much press a button and play!