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Renting a good keyboard in Paris

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  • Renting a good keyboard in Paris

    I purchased a Nord Stage EX 88-key piano about 2 years ago with some of my college fund. It's my pride and joy; I don't know where I would be without it, as always having it to play on has gotten me through some tough times.

    Besides practicing jazz and classical, I use it as a midi controller for electronic composition. I'm currently in a band of sorts with a few friends and it's sort of the cornerstone of our sound (I'm by far the most musically trained out of the four of them).

    This summer, the four of us are living in Paris at an apartment that belongs to one of my friends' stepmothers (We all live on the east coast of the US). I had sort of planned on buying a cheap midi controller, just so that we could write music in the apartment casually. However, my friend, who apparently has a lot of connections in the Paris area, just told me that he has several live performance opportunities set up for us, at a few bars/cafes and a few small outdoor festivals.

    This made me rethink my keyboard decision. If I'm going to be playing live in Paris, then I want to be performing on a nice keyboard, not a $200 midi controller with ****************ty action.

    I've come to two possible solutions: The first is that I purchase a sturdy hard case for my Nord (I only have a soft one at the moment), bring it on the plain as checked luggage, and then either bring it back as checked luggage, or ship it back to the US separately. Obviously I have some reservations about this plan, the first being that it seems that a good hard shell case for an 88-key keyboard would cost around $400, which is a lot for me as a college student, considering I need money for this trip. More importantly, I'm worried about the safety of the keyboard itself. I'm going to be staying in an unfamiliar place, and won't be staying in the same apartment at all times. If something happened to that keyboard, I don't know what I would do.

    The other solution I came up with is to try to rent a Nord or a keyboard of similar quality while I'm there.

    Might be a stretch, but does anyone know a good shop in Paris that would rent out a keyboard like that for a month? Does anyone know how much that might cost?

    Also, I'm guessing some of you have traveled overseas with a large keyboard like this before. Can you comment on the experience? Should I try to bring my Nord with me?

    Any advice or info is greatly appreciated!
    Warwick Corvette 4
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  • #2
    I definitely wouldn't bring that keyboard with me, no matter how good the road case is. It's going to increase the weight, which might put you over the limit on weight/size, forcing you to pay a steep fee to the airline. Plus, baggage handlers resent heavy items and will not baby it. Since it will be in a road case, they will feel free to toss it around. I've done extensive overseas touring - trust me on this. I've watched - from my window inside the plane - my keyboards get tossed, our amp racks get slammed, and our gear sitting on the tarmac in the rain. They don't give a ****************.

    I would pretty much choose any other option that you mentioned.
    "I remember when dubstep was just called "LFO-Locked-Filter-On-Square-Wave-Bass-Synth" in the '60s" - Alan Parsons

    Kurzweil PC3♦Alesis Fusion 6HD♦Alesis Quadrasynth+Piano (3)♦Alesis QS7.1 (2)♦Alesis QSR♦ Alesis S4+♦Alesis DMPRO♦Evolution MK-461C♦Rhodes Mark II Stage 73♦Roland JX-8P♦Kawai K1 & K1m♦

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    • #3
      1. Before you leave the states, pick up a roland jv1010 modeul or similar (or borrow similar for the summer) It has a decent piano patch. Will cost you about 150 - 200.

      2. When you get to Paris, buy a Fatar Studiologic sl 990 xp. It has weighted hammer action. (Nord uses Fatar action)

      3. At the end of the summer, sell the sl990 in Paris,

      4. Bring home the roland module and use it to augment the sounds on the Nord.

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      • #4
        Traveling with a keyboard of that size and weight would blow. Synthaholic already mentioned all the reasons why checking it won't work. There is a very, extremely slim, possibility you could get the Nord bag for it and carry on to the plane. My guitar playing buddies bring their axes on planes all the time. Sometimes it's a battle at the gate with the staff;

        "There's no way in hell I'm checking this $5k instrument!"
        "This is my livelihood man, those baggage guys will destroy this"
        "Can I possibly put this in the stewards' closet?, I'll be your best friend"
        "I fly with this all the time and know for a fact it will fit in the overhead"

        ...but they always get on with them as they WILL fit on the overheads. Not sure if you even have that option with the 88-key though.

        Renting/borrowing is a good option. Any major city will have a backline instrument rental company. Just a matter of searching them out. The buy/sell option ekeys mentioned is also good. Good luck.

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        • #5
          Don't rent for a month, it will be more expensive than buying a used one. Go check out what's available at Music Power (6 rue Houdon, 75018 PARIS). They always have some used workstations for sale... Largely enough to do a few bar dates.

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