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Tips on getting a good keys sound.

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  • Tips on getting a good keys sound.

    Hey, 

    Looking for some tips on getting a nice keyboard tone. 

    Typical "acoustic adult contemporary" church band. Acoustic guitar, bass, sensible drummer behind a shield and keys. Anywhere from 1-5 vocals, several of whom are quite nice singers. Just finding keys sounding murky and not clear. Keyboard is a roland RD700SX, player can play and the PA system, while having some areas for improvement, is all "brand" stuff. 

    Thoughts? Whats your "starting point" for a good keys sound?

     


  • #2

    "Murky" on stage or out in the audiance? 

    <div class="signaturecontainer">The wheel is an extension of the foot</div>

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    • wesg
      wesg commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm not familiar with that piano, but my immediate instinct is to kill the built-in reverb... It's always a problem for me on the fancy piano patches.

      You may also want to audition various piano patches in context. What sunds best solo does nt always sound best with a full ensemble.

      Is the guitar nice and clear? What kind of pickup?

  • #3

    heath_eld wrote:

    Hey, 

    Looking for some tips on getting a nice keyboard tone. 

    Typical "acoustic adult contemporary" church band. Acoustic guitar, bass, sensible drummer behind a shield and keys. Anywhere from 1-5 vocals, several of whom are quite nice singers. Just finding keys sounding murky and not clear. Keyboard is a roland RD700SX, player can play and the PA system, while having some areas for improvement, is all "brand" stuff. 

    Thoughts? Whats your "starting point" for a good keys sound?

     


    When with a band , the key player has to keep his left hand out of the bass players way or it makes mud most of the time.   It takes a key player who knows how to listen to how they fit into the mix.   As far as what piano to use.  Try the basic roland rhodes patch.  That tends to blend well when you are comping with a band because it can slip into the mix well with guitars for a general go to piano.

    <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;you mess with him and you mess with the whole trailer park&quot;</div><br>

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    • DanBAP
      DanBAP commented
      Editing a comment

      TIMKEYS wrote:

      heath_eld wrote:

      Hey, 

      Looking for some tips on getting a nice keyboard tone. 

      Typical "acoustic adult contemporary" church band. Acoustic guitar, bass, sensible drummer behind a shield and keys. Anywhere from 1-5 vocals, several of whom are quite nice singers. Just finding keys sounding murky and not clear. Keyboard is a roland RD700SX, player can play and the PA system, while having some areas for improvement, is all "brand" stuff. 

      Thoughts? Whats your "starting point" for a good keys sound?

       


      When with a band , the key player has to keep his left hand out of the bass players way or it makes mud most of the time.   It takes a key player who knows how to listen to how they fit into the mix.   As far as what piano to use.  Try the basic roland rhodes patch.  That tends to blend well when you are comping with a band because it can slip into the mix well with guitars for a general go to piano.


       

      At the church where I mix, bass has usually been one of the weaker positions in the band, so I'll actually do the opposite of this and use the keys for a good bit of the low end and rely on the bass for a bit more in the mids. Instead, the problem I tend to have with keys is that they stomp all over the vocals. In that case, it can be advantageous for the player to move his right hand up and away from middle C.

       

      -Dan.


  • #4
    In addition to most everything everyone else has said, liberal use of a high pass filter will help get rid of a lot of that muck, particularly with someone with a heavy left hand and used to playing solo. Set it as high as you need to if it's variable or just push the button if it's a fixed point. Unless your worship service includes a lot of bass drops and rap kicks the only one that will miss it is the keyboard player.
    I love to sing, and I love to drink scotch. Most people would rather hear me drink scotch.

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    • #5

      Hi-pass. I'll pass keys typically around 200Hz.

      Most PA systems are bottom-heavy as it is, and a lot of piano patches have the dreaded smiley-face EQ built-in. Don't be afraid to cut the low end and keep the piano from stepping on the bass guitar and kick drum.

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      • #6
        Andrew, did you ever try just running the left channel of the P80? That's my usual formula for mono Yamaha.
        <div class="signaturecontainer">--<br><br>Hammond: BC, M3, Split L111, L122 / Leslie: 51, 760 / Yamaha: DGX-620, PF-85<br><br>Follow my new band, <a href="http://DrBombay.ca/connect.html" target="_blank">Dr. Bombay</a>! We're going to be organasmic!</div>

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        • Piano Whore
          Piano Whore commented
          Editing a comment

          Hey Wes, no I didn't, unfortunately I wasn't that smart in '02. I'm sure that would have helped greatly.

          As to the P120 vs the P80, they're much different. The P120 (which I gigged with until recently) has brighter, clearer pianos that sound good FOH even summed to mono- although I preferred to moniter myself onstage in stereo.


        • TIMKEYS
          TIMKEYS commented
          Editing a comment

          wesg wrote:
          Andrew, did you ever try just running the left channel of the P80? That's my usual formula for mono Yamaha.

          Both of my rolands have the L channel marked as mono.  


      • #7
        One thing I often do is use fewer full chords and think of myself as a percussion player, doing two or three note riffs / jabs or doing arpeggiated lines, typically in the octave above middle C.
        I was pleasantly surprised to hear a friend of mine playing simple arps 2 octaves above middle C, he wasn't very loud at all, and you could hear it right thru the mix.

        Comment


        • TIMKEYS
          TIMKEYS commented
          Editing a comment

          Randyman wrote:
          One thing I often do is use fewer full chords and think of myself as a percussion player, doing two or three note riffs / jabs or doing arpeggiated lines, typically in the octave above middle C.
          I was pleasantly surprised to hear a friend of mine playing simple arps 2 octaves above middle C, he wasn't very loud at all, and you could hear it right thru the mix.

          I agree with you completely that keys are a percussion driven instrument.   My style is to hang out in the middle and stay pretty well out of the lower range except for a root note  double root spread.  The focal point of our music is the lead vocals since we back a performing songwriter.   The flash is the job of a really great lead player who really has it nailed down.  The bass player and I joke about that we are just a launching pad for a  strat and that tube reverb sound along with a great lead singer.   I think with bands you have to develop your signature sound even if you are playing covers.  

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