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  • Can only keep one keyboard...help me choose.

    So, I've recently been re-designing my setup. Space is at a minimum, so I've been moving towards rack units and software and getting rid of keyboards. I've had some good trade offers, and it has gone pretty well, so far. As I'm getting towards the end of the process, however, I'm having trouble deciding what would be the most intelligent course of action as I get rid of the last of my keyboard gear.

    As the topic title says, I've determined I can only keep one keyboard. It may be an arbitrary restriction, and I'm sure some of you will say, "keep it all and store it away for the future." Though that could be an option in some universe, it is currently not one in mine. So, ignoring what I would sell or trade these remaining pieces of hardware for (let's just say, for argument's sake, I will get a good deal on any of it), what do you think should survive the exodus?

    Here's what I've got:
    Kurzweil Midiboard (actually, I may keep this one to have a weighted action controller)
    Yamaha DX7IID
    Yamaha SY99
    Korg DSS1
    Casio VZ1

    I traded my Alesis Ion for a Roland MKS70. I'm debating whether or not to trade my Kurzweil K2000RS for a Yamaha TX816 (obviously, I'm a fan of FM).

    The music I create goes from film/video scoring stuff, to vintage-y rock stuff and ambient tracks. Eventually, I'd like to add a Roland D550 to the mix. It's on the to-do list.

    So, whether or not I keep the Midiboard, as far as synth options go, I'm thinking it really comes down to the SY99 or DSS1. They are both so unique and powerful and awesome in their own ways. I don't really need them for their sampling abilities, aside from the mountains of floppies that I already have. They both have great keyboard actions, good midi specs, great synth engines, etc. etc. etc...

    ...but I'm willing to listen to other ideas, too. The Casio is going to be the hardest to unload, as it seems not many are familiar with this underrated synth, and convincing them that a Casio isn't just a cheap home keyboard is no easy task. The DX7IID is a classic and a piece of history, so there's nostalgia there, but the SY99 can pretty much do anything the DX can do and more. The DSS1 is a monster of a synth, and has a unique place in the sonic realm.

    Anyway, would love to hear your thoughts. I'm moving more towards software for the orchestral patches and acoustic stuff, so the synth I keep wouldn't have to carry that load entirely. Am more interested in the vintage synthesis qualities of whatever synth I keep and its "timelessness" if you will. The problem is, I can make arguments all day long for the DSS1 or the SY99 as they currently get equal use in my setup.

    If I decide to keep the SY99, I'll probably keep the K2000RS. If I decide to keep the DSS1, I'll probably trade the K2000RS for the TX816 to keep some FM in my setup.

    So, what would make me a fool for getting rid of it and what would make me a sane and sober individual?

    Thanks for reading...

  • #2
    If space is at a premium, the downside of the DSS1 is that it is huge. OTOH, it has possibly the nicest synth action I ever played. I never played an SY99, does it really feel as good? (Though checking online, it looks like it's pretty big too!)

    Sonically, I think the DSS1 is more unusual compared to the Yamahas, i.e. I don't think you'll find something else that will really sound like the DSS1, whereas there are tons of boards and modules with good FM. Basically, I think newer FM implementations still give you the sounds of older ones, but every analog synth has its own character, and the DSS1 is still, in a sense, an analog synth, even though its sound sources are digital samples.

    The DSS1 also has a cool upgrade available... http://web.me.com/tomvirostek/DSS-1/DSS1.html


    • #3
      Personally, I'd keep the DSS-1, it's special and I would love one.

      Would keep the midiboard if you need it as a controller.


      • #4
        SY99 by a mile.


        • #5
          SY99 by a mile.

          Care to elaborate?


          • #6
            SY99: fm, awm, drum kits, big keyboard, a little ability to import samples. it's really an overwhelming sound engine.


            • #7
              if you like FM you'd be crazy to get rid of the SY99. it's a great master kb too. of all my former synths it's the first one I'd take back.
              Korg Triton Extreme, Yamaha CP33, Vermona Lancet Mono, Voce V3, M Audio Venom
              Carvin TL60t, G&L S500 tribute, Agile AL3010 > Carvin MTS Combo Korg AX3000G

              Bus to Neptune


              • #8
                How about this? If these were the only two possible combinations in my arsenal (aside from Midiboard and whatever software I use), which synth combo would you go for (and why)?

                SY99 + Kurzweill K2000RS (fully loaded with RAM, Orchestral & Contemporary ROM Expansion) + Roland MKS70


                DSS1 + TX816 + Roland XV3080 (with SRX-Complete Orchestra and JV-Vintage Keys boards installed) + Roland MKS70


                • #9
                  This one is tough.

                  Originally, I was going to go with SY99, since MKS-70 is providing you with the analog sounds, as you can do a lot more with its FM owing to its choice of operator waveforms. But, I remembered that DSS-1 gives you waveform drawing and additive synthesis.

                  Still leaning towards SY99.
                  I'm the vaccine for the Access Virus.


                  • #10
                    If it were me I'd keep the SY99 and DSS-1 and lose everything else except the MKS-70 of course but I guess you need orchestral sounds, but I also guess you could get those out of a computer


                    • #11
                      If it were me I'd keep the SY99 and DSS-1 and lose everything else except the MKS-70 of course but I guess you need orchestral sounds, but I also guess you could get those out of a computer

                      Wish I could keep it all, but just don't have the space. It's tricky enough to justify keeping the Midiboard, but I do want a weighted controller as I prefer having a weighted action for most things. But it's going to be tough to get rid of any of it, for sure, and no doubt I will be missing them in no time at all.


                      • #12
                        Thought I'd post two video links to illustrate why I'm so torn between the two of them:

                        SY99 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY_jaCuyICc&feature=channel&list=UL (be sure to check out all four parts if you can - but I think this one is my favorite)

                        DSS1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaaEWDyoXoc (be sure to check out both parts if you can) &
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAlZpItp4JY&feature=related (ignore the first minute of Apple Loops and skip straight to the DSS1 samples)


                        • #13
                          Whatever you do, KEEP THE MIDIBOARD!!!!! Selling mine is one of the biggest regrets of my life...I miss the action and having polyAT on an 88 weighted key board so much....Unfortunately I had to sell it cuz I needed the money and the fact that my Yammy S80 is much more suited to working with Reason and Logic for real time control with all the extra goodies it can have (see my sig) and it was a choice between the action and polyAT of the Midiboard or having an FC7 I can route through the MW, a dedicated EXP pedal, a breath controller (BC3a), a dedicated sustain pedal, and FS (though all are assignable to whatever, including the channel/mono AT,) and a lot of the stuff I use doesn't respond to poly AT anyways, but still goddamn do I miss the Midiboard....oh well, c'est la vie!!!!
                          Originally Posted by co&cafan808

                          chevybusa ****************in delivers the lulz!!!

                          Using and abusing Reason 4.0 (with tons of ReFills) and Logic 9 (with tons of soft synths, VSTi's and plug-ins)
                          a Yamaha S80 (with 2 FC7's, an FC5, an FC3, and a BC3a) and a Behringer BCR2000
                          a 4GB 2.53GHz Intel Core Duo Mac Mini
                          AKG K77 headphones or M-Audio BX5a Deluxe monitors.

                          Originally Posted by OldGuitarPlayer

                          Ahhh...John Cage. The ultimate troll.

                          Originally Posted by Anderton

                          Just remember...machines don't kill music, people do.


                          • #14
                            I'm now leaning towards the DSS-1. I saw a poor guy on Craigslist unable to sell his DSS-1 for $250.
                            I'm the vaccine for the Access Virus.


                            • #15
                              Well here's the update/verdict. A lot transpired in the past few days and, to make a long story short, I've kept the DSS-1. In the end, it was just a gut feeling thing. I'm sure you know what I mean. There's something unique about the DSS-1, and the fact that I repaired it myself to bring it back to life and all...felt some sort of bond. Actually, a lot of my other gear went out the door this weekend, so I'm left with just the DSS-1, the Midiboard, and the Kurzweil K2000RS.

                              The last trade offer I have to ponder is trading the K2000RS for the TX816 (with 5 TF1 cards). The MKS70 thing fell through. Now, on the one hand, the K2000 is a POWERFUL synth and a sampler and can do the bread&butter sounds plus basically anything else...and the TX816, by contrast, is a one trick FM pony. That said, I can do most anything the K2000 can do with software these days, but nothing compares to the TX816 in terms of FM when it comes to hardware vs. software. FM8/Operator/whatever, are all great pieces of software...but they are not a TX816. They will never sound as rich...well, maybe not never, but they don't at the the moment.

                              I'm leaning towards the K2000RS because it seems the more sensible choice, and I'll never want for synthesis options for sure...but I haven't written off the TX816 altogether.