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Who's running keyboards AND sequences doing top40 or 80s pop


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picked up a gig tryin to wear the keyplayer hat in a female fronted top40 coverband

 

 

I want the band to run with in ears and a click track. I want to play as much of the fun key stuff as I can and have parts sequenced when i run out of hands. What's the best way to do this? What are other bands doing?

 

Can I get a new workstation like an m3/motif/fantom and sequence the whole show on it, sending click, tracks AND live keys?

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Two keyboard players, minimal sequences and loving it. It's our choice for a few reasons. We can change and turn things on a dime and building sequences is alot of work, time and effort... especially if you are changing over material frequently. For every three new songs we add we may drop 2-3 that aren't working as well, or move them around within medleys or in the setlist. Not being tied to sequences keeps us flexible.

 

Just our choice. I can see sequences being an advantage for lots of players if they have the time to program them or feel comfortable playing along with backing tracks.

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Can I get a new workstation like an m3/motif/fantom and sequence the whole show on it, sending click, tracks AND live keys?

 

 

I used a Fantom XR, Korg TR 88, Roland XP-30, Digital Performer (5 and later 6), Hercules firewire interface (no longer available), and a Midi Timepiece AV running from a MacBook Pro for the heart of my backing track system. Bonus - you can also sequence a light show with the right DMX controller.

 

I do believe though you can accomplish much the same with a Motif, Fantom or perhaps Korg M3.

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That's why I had to stop, it was burying me!

 

 

 

Other band members don't realize or appreciate the amount of time it takes to produce well balanced tracks or build sequences. When I was the single keyboard player... it would take me an entire evening to just line up and program the right sounding patches. Then to set a sequence at the correct bpm and balanced layers. Well it was fun at first... and then quickly not so fun.

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Can I get a new workstation like an m3/motif/fantom and sequence the whole show on it, sending click, tracks AND live keys?

 

 

 

You can run everything from a workstation, but I would prefer a piece of independent gear that way you can control the output/volume independently. We use an Akai sampler to run sequences or as ggm1960 suggested a laptop. We have a hip hop medley that uses a backing sequence we've created which we run on the Akai... no click. Bass, drums and some keys are played behind. The drum loop is so prominent in our monitor mix there's no need for a click. You can see in this video where our drummer missed the beat but recovered quickly. It's the first time we played the song and the only time he's missed the changeup.

 

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=205611206130887&set=vb.100000460267436

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Other band members don't realize or appreciate the amount of time it takes to produce well balanced tracks or build sequences. When I was the single keyboard player... it would take me an entire evening to just line up and program the right sounding patches. Then to set a sequence at the correct bpm and balanced layers. Well it was fun at first... and then quickly not so fun.

 

 

Yeah it started out being fun for sure, I love playing with tech stuff and when you get a sequence all put together, the Lexicon MX400 switches in vocal delays at the right time, guitar patches switch in and out as needed while you're on the other side of the room, backing strings are emanating from the Roland rack unit, even the Antares AVP-1 would change pitch correction key during the chorus of Comfortably Numb, the lights are flashing on and off in sync and everything's working like a well oiled machine it's a bit of a rush.

 

Pretty soon though you realize how far behind you are, bandmates want to do more and more complex songs, all your free time is being absorbed by it and it begins to look like a giant hole you'll never be able to crawl up out of!

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I tried doing a "high tech" duo thing years ago ... and quickly realized that it just wasn't for me. I came to understand that it's the interaction with bandmates that make it fun for me. It's the interplay between my bandmates and I that is a key component of my personal enjoyment. I came to the conclusion that when I said "I gotta get the rest of the band loaded ...." - I wanted it to involve a trip to the parking lot, not a transfer of bits and bytes. More power to those that enjoy working with the technology!

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I have tried to use sequencers and drum machines over the years and I pretty much feel the same way, SpaceNorman. I really enjoy playing off of other musicians. If the sequences are the same all the time, it's not really playing off of anyone. I look forward to the live element and especially when it's slightly different every time. It's a real rush and the main reason why I still enjoy being in a band.

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