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playing keyboards through monitor speakers

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  • playing keyboards through monitor speakers

    Can anyone shed light on whether there is some reason why you can't play an 88-note keyboard through monitor speakers?

    I am a keyboard player and do a lot of work with ballet companies in schools. At the moment I lug two twelve inch speakers around or a combo amp with a 10" speaker and no tweeter that sounds terrible.

    Called in at the last moment to a job I ended up playing through one Yamaha powered monitor speaker. The speaker could have been no more that 5" but it sounded - to my ears - fine for what was required. The volume was enough too.

    I was told from an early age not to play instruments through hi-fi speakers because those speakers are designed to play heavily compressed music and couldn't handle the frequency range and spikes from a live instrument.

    But presumably monitor speakers are different. In a studio environment they could be playing back a compressed radio-friendly mix but they could just as easily be reproducing a live instrument with its extremes of frequency. So presumably they are geared up to handle wider frequency ranges.

    Getting a pair of these powered monitors could make my life a lot easier! But if there going to blow after a couple of weeks of 88-note piano there would be no point.

    Any feedback appreciated.


  • #2

    I've used a pair of Behringer B208D's (powered 8" two-ways) on mic stand mounts as stereo monitors - they sound fine and were only $150 each. I've used the same speakers as mains for a classic rock band - they have plenty of power to damage your hearing as nearfield monitors.


    "We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us" - Walt Kelly​

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    • #3

      greenglaze wrote:

      I was told from an early age not to play instruments through hi-fi speakers because those speakers are designed to play heavily compressed music and couldn't handle the frequency range and spikes from a live instrument.


      It depends.

       

      If you don't need much volume, a small powered speaker can provide adequate volume without distortion or damage. If you need more power - say for a loud blues or rock band - then a larger, more powerful speaker would be necessasry to provide adequate volume.

       

      stage and studio monitors have very different applications and aren't very well suited to applications outside of their intended environment.

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      • #4
        Studio monitors have limited output for live sound applications. If you ever need to turn it up it will not sound good. Keyboardist will often use smaller PA speakers and they usually perform better than the same priced keyboard amps.
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        • guido61
          guido61 commented
          Editing a comment
          Depends how loud the band plays on stage and how loud you need to turn up the speakers. Those 5" studio monitors are only going to get "so" loud and will likely get washed out amongst guitars and drums. And if you're playing many low notes on the piano, it will have a difficult time reproducing those tones at any sort of volume.

          As others have suggested, I would recommend a small powered speaker. Something more suited for PA use. It won't be THAT much more to lug around and will be much more versatile in its applications.

      • #5

        greenglaze wrote:

        Can anyone shed light on whether there is some reason why you can't play an 88-note keyboard through monitor speakers?

        I am a keyboard player and do a lot of work with ballet companies in schools. At the moment I lug two twelve inch speakers around or a combo amp with a 10" speaker and no tweeter that sounds terrible.

        Any feedback appreciated.


        If you don't have the right tools, why not just get them.  a small powered stage monitor like the Yorkville E10P (maybe too expensive), or the EV and QSC's mentioned in another post would be a good starting place.  You might even be able to get away with some of the smaller Peavey options.

        I know ballet pianists that have been doing it for quite a while. Most that I know play acoustic pianos and they can get pretty loud. It also might be nice to have a piece of equipment that can cover many different situations in addition to ballet classes. Things like weddings, trio gigs, announcements, background music and so on . A decent powered speaker could fit the bill. It's nice to have enough rig for practically any gig.

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        • #6

          I have a pair of QSC K10's - great for keys or PA mains/monitors.  Also have pair of the QSC K12's - also great for keys or PA use.

          But as a kybd. plyr. sometimes I want to carry only one cabinet - so I have a Motion Sound stereo kybd. amp - - actually, two different ones: the KP200S and it's little brother the KP100S.


          These are great sounding kybd. amps, w/the convenience of stereo sound in an all-in-one package.  " id="smiley" src="https://guitarcenter.i.lithium.com/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-.png" alt=":smiley:" title="Smiley Very Happy" />

           

           

           

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          • Pilot
            Pilot commented
            Editing a comment
            I use a couple of Fender Mustangs with my Kronos. While they're intended for guitar, you can turn off all the guitar stuff and they're pretty linear. Nice and portable and cheap. At home though I use my regular stereo system. 600W per channel into a pair of full range speakers. Sounds marvellous. Bryan

          • RoadRanger
            RoadRanger commented
            Editing a comment

            GigMan wrote:

            But as a kybd. plyr. sometimes I want to carry only one cabinet - so I have a Motion Sound stereo kybd. amp - - actually, two different ones: the KP200S and it's little brother the KP100S.

            I can easily carry two B208D's with one hand



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