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Really, how userful are two keyboards live?


XorAxAx

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Noob question.

 

To all people that play out live with multiple keyboards on two- or three-tier stands:

 

How often do you actually play two keyboards at the same time? How limiting would it be for you to move to a single keyboard (everything else being racked or desktop modules)?

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Originally posted by XorAxAx

How limiting would it be for you to move to a single keyboard (everything else being racked or desktop modules)?

Extremely limiting.

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I play two keyboards live...I have a Clavia Nord Electro2 on the bottom and a Yamaha AN1x VA synth at the top. The Nord Electro does Rhodes/Piano/Hammond/Clav sounds and I play it 90% of the time. The AN1x is mainy for lead sounds which sometimes I have to play over the chords, so I'd play both at the same time.

 

For some songs I would use the AN1x exclusively, as it makes sounds the Electro can't make and vice-versa.

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That's a very subjective question that greatly depends on what you do as a keyboardist live. You could ask a drummer, 'are more than one cymbal and more than one tom really necessary?'. To some, it's not. To some, it's essential.

 

That being said, I only use one board live and accomplish multiple sounds, when needed, with midi splits/layers to control different modules (VSTs). My current live rig is a Roland JX-10, the computer, and an Echo Layla 3G for audio and Midi. I also play bass in the band, so my keyboard setup is a little less involved as I don't play it the whole time.

 

Other projects I've been in required more and I did play two keyboards at once quite frequently. I think it's becoming more feasable though with softsynths to do it all with one controller. That's the direction I'm heading anyway. But really, it all depends on what you do as a keyboardist.

 

What if you have a Roland VK-7 and a Korg Triton (hypathetically). You wouldn't want to play synth stuff with the organ controller and vice-versa. It's like a fretted bass and a fretless bass. Both are basses, but you play a fretless bass different then a fretted bass.

 

Or even more simply, what if you use a weighted 88 key for piano, but also need a synth action keyboard for synth stuff?......

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Hi,

 

I play an RD700sx for keyb. In my band i play the bass. So i use a trition extreme split in two. Right part for the brass ans synth like sound, and the left part is for piloting my motif rack es viaz midi.

 

www.goodvibeslesite.com

 

To answer your question, i formely played on a single keyb. But, when you play groove music, impossible to play a descent bass with a heavy action. That's mainly why...

 

Plus, each keyb or rompler is used for what it does best : RD = Piano, TE=synth, M-ES=acc and elect basses.

 

Regards.

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I feel more confortable with two. For example if I play pianos I must have an 88 keyboard with good sounds (Yamaha P90) then an organ sound like Ob3 square that can't be in a P-90.

 

I like to have 2 keyboards which are the best in their field.

 

Two keys are perfect for live! Three are good also...

 

:p

 

I use Yamaha P-90 with Korg X3 (for synth and organs)

or

 

Yamaha P-90 and Ob3 squared and X3 for synth sounds only. :thu:

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For me, it depends largely on the venue and the length of the gig. Normally, I have a 2 keyboard setup that consists of the Yamaha S80 and the EX7. With the blues band that I normally play with, the Hammond XB2 is the 2nd board(since it's hooked up to the guitarist's leslie 45). I would only use 1 if the venue is tight or if it's only a 1 hr gig. I've played many a gig with only the S80, or just the Hammond XB2 with Leslie, and still faired pretty well.

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Since I play Left Hand bass most of the time, one keyboard with 2 modules works best for me. The only time I used 2 keyboards was when I used a Moog Prodigy for the bass, but I gave that up years ago when I bought my RD-600.

 

I now use an RD300SX and a Roland VK8m and Yammi MotifES Rack and a swell pedal on the VK8m and a Midi pedal Control on the line to the Motif Rack. This gives me independant control of just about everything, plus some nice layering capabilities as I play. A second keyboard for me would be pretty useless..

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Originally posted by Nightsynth

......Or even more simply, what if you use a weighted 88 key for piano, but also need a synth action keyboard for synth stuff?......

+1

 

Many folks object to playing organ on a weighted action as well......although I can better tolerate this than playing piano on a synth action!

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I'd find it very limiting to have to use only one board. In the stuff I do, there are simply too many sound/texture changes too quickly for me to be comfortable accomplishing that by making all kinds of midi patch changes in midstream. (looks like a run-on sentence, but it's not! lol)

 

When we play Yes or ELP, it helps to have as many boards available as possible.

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I use two and play Reggae.

 

The bottom is a Kurzweil for piano upbeats while the top is an Electro for organ/clav, I do play both at the same time a lot so it is very useful for me.

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I do everything from one Roland A-37 controller into two laptops with softsynths and Arkaos for videos. I can program all my patches with splits/layers into the A-37 sequentially so I just hit the program up button to go to the next sound. Very easy! I used to have as many as three keyboards (Triton Studio, Roland XP-30, and the A-37) but since I have sampled everything to software it makes it much easier to travel and setup. Definitely doesn't have the "coolness" factor of multiple keyboards, but much more practical. Most non-keyboardists don't understand the concept of "controller" keyboards so when they see you with one they think you are skimping. I have had people say "Wow, I never heard of the A-37 but it SOUNDS AWESOME! Better than a TRITON!" lol.

 

It's kind of similar to guitarists that have full stacks or rows of cabs when all they need is one 4x12.

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Ahhh, another of the unenlightened.

 

Originally posted by Veneficum

It's kind of similar to guitarists that have full stacks or rows of cabs when all they need is one 4x12.

 

A full stack can allow you to run at lower volume than a half-stack.

 

'What??' you say, knowing that every teen you ever met with a full stack loved cranking the thing to eleven....

 

Here's how it works. A half stack sitting on the ground blows most of its sound past your knees and thighs. Your ears are thirty inches or more above that! So you're up onstage - you turn up to where you can hear your guitar in balance with the rest of the band. Your audience, meanwhile, are getting it full blast in the face - all they can hear is the guitar.

 

Put another cabinet up on top of the first, and that changes! Suddenly you can hear yourself at the same volume everyone else is hearing, while still getting that oomph from floor coupling that so nicely enhances your tone. So you can turn down a bit.

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That's what slant cabs help for... and stage monitors. We almost NEVER rely on cabs on stage for monitoring. But I see your point about the top cab being in your face, and if that is what you need then go for it...

 

The average guitarist probably wouldn't give you this answer though :) More like something saying "Its HEAVIER! or ITS FULLER or ITS MORE POWERFUL!"

 

Also notice I said full stack or WALLS of cabs... more emphasis on the walls of cabs not plugged in. Its a stage show thing :)

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I think two is the bare minimum I'd want on a gig. As others have said, I like to play piano and electric piano sounds on a weighted keyboard, while I prefer a semi-weighted keyboard for organ and synth tones.

 

Also... If one of the two keyboards goes tits up before/during a gig, you still have the other one to finish out the night. If you only have one, the gig's over for you.

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Boy, that's a great point.... I always bring a backup instrument to a gig.

 

Originally posted by wineandkeyz

Also... If one of the two keyboards goes tits up before/during a gig, you still have the other one to finish out the night. If you only have one, the gig's over for you.

 

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For me, it rarely happens that a keyboard breaks down at a gig. That's why I prefer not to endure the extra strain of hauling a backup board with me to gigs. Most of my gigs are here in town, so if God-forbid one of my boards go down, I can just run home and grab another and have it all set up by the next set. Besides, I usually gig with two boards. If one breaks down, I just play with the other one. Usually, it's the patch cables that malfunction the most, that's why I make a point of having an extra set handy.

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Extremely useful to have two keyboards. Often plays on both at same time. You cant ever get the seperately played voices with just one synth in same way. Maybe doing low bass pads on one and bass synth on another synth. Layering will never give you the same flexibility for what voice and notes you play on each seperate brd. Even if playing lead and fills on one synth and other full keyboard stuff on the other with diff voices, it will allways be far more flexible with two brds. Its all about playing two independant keyboards together in ways you can never do with splitting or layering just one brd. Hell, may have splits and layers on both brds and still playing both. If I want to do such and so on one brd and such and such on another, it takes two, one wont cut it. Master keyboard cant accomplish that. It requires two independant brds your playing by hand with your fingers (not midi) simultanelosly.

 

 

And yes that requires the basic ability to play the whole length of the keyboard right or left handed and with arms crossing at various times when playing both brds.

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I use two always and mnost always play both simultaneously. At church, I have the B-3 with a Korg Trinity V3 for pads, strings, speciaol effects and leads on top.

 

When outside that building, I'll use my EMU E-synth to trigger a Trinity Rack and PK-2000 module plus effects and use a PK-6 midied to a VOCE V3 which in turn is conected to my Leslie 122. USe the PK-6 exclusively for that right now. That will probably change down the road as I finish cataloging the sounds and begin the tweaking process. (The E-Synth has much better midi features than the PK-6).

 

Works well for me.

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Originally posted by wineandkeyz

I think two is the bare minimum I'd want on a gig. As others have said, I like to play piano and electric piano sounds on a weighted keyboard, while I prefer a semi-weighted keyboard for organ and synth tones.


Also... If one of the two keyboards goes tits up before/during a gig, you still have the other one to finish out the night. If you only have one, the gig's over for you.

 

Exactly - same for me: weighted for piano, synth for organ, strings, synthetic sounds...

 

BTW -

I also agree about the comfort factor of having two 'boards on the gig - it's just good practice. Though I've never had a board completely tank on me, I have had gigs where my older Ensoniq KS-32 acted funny and I had to rely on my Triton Le moreso than i would normally otherwise (much to the chagrin of my fingers, which recoil in digust at the mushy action of the Triton Le... :p:D)

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I definitely see some very good points on using 2 boards. For the gigs with the Motown revue band or Mind Sky, 2 boards are a definite must. But with the blues bands, it's only piano and organ. So, I only use 2 boards with the blues band that I normally play with(since the guitarist usually brings his leslie), and use only one board with any other blues bands.

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Originally posted by tucktronix

I definitely see some very good points on using 2 boards. For the gigs with the Motown revue band or Mind Sky, 2 boards are a definite must. But with the blues bands, it's only piano and organ. So, I only use 2 boards with the blues band that I normally play with(since the guitarist usually brings his leslie), and use only one board with any other blues bands.

 

 

Tuck, one of the sounds I've come to really like over the years is layering organ over piano - ie, having piano as the main sound with just a shimmer, a touch of organ over at the same time...

Granted it's the organ from Ensoniq KS32, which isn't exactly "clonewheel" quality but it does fine for me.

 

Have you ever tried this on your Yammie S80 (which I assume is the one 'board you bring when you bring only one) or do you usually just do piano OR organ, one at a time, separately?

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