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Author Topic: keyboard patches..stale sounding  (Read 1598 times)

Ted Christensen

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keyboard patches..stale sounding
« on: November 30, 2012, 02:36:03 pm »

They all sound like crap to. From a cheap alesis to a yamaha motif..maybe its the house pa maybe its the patch but I have yet to find one I like..usually run the keys mono that shouldnt have anything to do with it.

Eq seems to make it worse. Am I missing something here?
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: keyboard patches..stale sounding
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2012, 02:46:34 pm »

They all sound like crap to. From a cheap alesis to a yamaha motif..maybe its the house pa maybe its the patch but I have yet to find one I like..usually run the keys mono that shouldnt have anything to do with it.

Eq seems to make it worse. Am I missing something here?
Kurzweil, Kurzweil, Kurzweil.  The PC3 series has incredible acoustic and electric pianos, strings, a decent tonewheel clone, and a lot of synth power to be unlocked.  The top end Korg stuff is very good, too.  I've played an Oasys since 2005 and still love it.  The newer Kronos is a little bit dumbed down, but is still very good sounding.

To my knowledge, Alesis hasn't done anything much for a decade, and even though everyone plays Yamaha, I've never been that thrilled.

The other issue is that there are very few "keyboard" players that actually play the whole "keyboard" as their instrument, including tone adjustments to make them work in a live setting.  There are lots of "piano" players who play a keyboard, and sometimes may push a non-piano button (and then usually play it like a piano - there's nothing quite like attempting to play a lead synth sound, pad, organ, etc. with a solo-piano comping style).
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Bob Leonard

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Re: keyboard patches..stale sounding
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2012, 05:49:34 pm »

I'm a little Jaded but the OP should also look at Roland. I run XV-3080 and 5080 sound modules and have nothing but good things to say about the realism these modules present. Now is a good time to look at Ebay and pick up a 3080 for less than $400. You can run your keyboard through the 3080, expand it if you need, and have great sounding keys of any type. Drop in the SR keys expansion module and anything is possible.

TJ you're absolutely right about the Kurzweil keyboards. Like Roland they don't rely on a synthesized patch, they use samples of the real deal. That and their processors are above the rest. For me though it's Roland, especially the 5080 and it's 8 outputs which I run seperately each to their own channel. Think about it. CPU, Roland, APB, 4800, 40,000 watts, SRX to your ears from god.

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Bob Charest

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Re: keyboard patches..stale sounding
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2012, 07:49:39 pm »

Kurzweil, Kurzweil, Kurzweil.  The PC3 series has incredible acoustic and electric pianos, strings, a decent tonewheel clone, and a lot of synth power to be unlocked.  The top end Korg stuff is very good, too.  I've played an Oasys since 2005 and still love it.  The newer Kronos is a little bit dumbed down, but is still very good sounding.

To my knowledge, Alesis hasn't done anything much for a decade, and even though everyone plays Yamaha, I've never been that thrilled.

The other issue is that there are very few "keyboard" players that actually play the whole "keyboard" as their instrument, including tone adjustments to make them work in a live setting.  There are lots of "piano" players who play a keyboard, and sometimes may push a non-piano button (and then usually play it like a piano - there's nothing quite like attempting to play a lead synth sound, pad, organ, etc. with a solo-piano comping style).
Agreed. I love my PC3, and the PC2 is our main keyboard for gigging. Even then, volumes are not level between some patches.
Regarding running mono, it depends how you do it. The Kurzweil does not automatically left-normal, and if you output a mono signal through one of the parms on the PC2, you get a better mono result than picking a side. As the Kurzweil is sampled to spatially represent the aural difference across the full span of the keyboard (for acoustic piano anyway) running in stereo is more satisfying to my ears.

Or, you could bring a Steinway to every gig  :) But then aside from the lugging, what mics would you use, etc.
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Tim Tyler

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Re: keyboard patches..stale sounding
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2012, 07:51:29 pm »

-usually run the keys mono that shouldnt have anything to do with it.

Ted -

Strongly disagree about running keys in mono.  Modern keyboards have much of their sound setups designed to work best in stereo, and mono from the "L/Mono" out on the keyboard typically sounds like crap.  Before you throw in the towel on your axe, I would try stereo using both L & R outputs, fully panned, into 2 channels through a stereo/dual mono system. 

If all the PAs you play through are mono, you'll never attain the designed output of you instrument.  Still, plugging both outputs into 2 channels of a mono mixer is better than using the mono out of most keys, for most brands.

The only reasons, other than L/R system shading, to have a stereo system are better sounding playback, stereo effects, and stereo keys, IMO.

-Tim T
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Bob Charest

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Re: keyboard patches..stale sounding
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2012, 07:54:22 pm »

"...mono from the "L/Mono" out on the keyboard typically sounds like crap...."

Agreed. Usually sounds like a really low-res MP3 - yucch!
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Ted Christensen

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Re: keyboard patches..stale sounding
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2012, 08:46:52 pm »

Ted -

Strongly disagree about running keys in mono.  Modern keyboards have much of their sound setups designed to work best in stereo, and mono from the "L/Mono" out on the keyboard typically sounds like crap.  Before you throw in the towel on your axe, I would try stereo using both L & R outputs, fully panned, into 2 channels through a stereo/dual mono system. 

If all the PAs you play through are mono, you'll never attain the designed output of you instrument.  Still, plugging both outputs into 2 channels of a mono mixer is better than using the mono out of most keys, for most brands.

The only reasons, other than L/R system shading, to have a stereo system are better sounding playback, stereo effects, and stereo keys, IMO.

-Tim T


Yah know ill give it a shot on the stereo keys thing..I thought it only pertained to true stereo patches but ill try it
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duane massey

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Re: keyboard patches..stale sounding
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2012, 04:03:23 am »

Actually, I have always preferred Yamaha over the other guys. I've used just about every brand out there except Nord, and each has their strengths, but (at least for my purposes) I've had best results with a Casio Privia for piano/electric piano and a Yamaha S30 for organ/string/sax patches. My steady gig has a pair of Korg keys (forget the models, one is 88k, other 76k), and I use an S30 for most non-piano sounds. The smaller Korg does have some nice choral patches, but I hate the architecture and the physical layout.
I almost never run stereo on any keyboards, as it is rare to find anyone in the club/corporate market around here that uses a stereo PA. On concerts gigs I give the FOH whatever he wants, but I prefer a mono monitor mix, and a small one at that. One size definitely does not fit all.
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Duane Massey
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Ned Ward

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keyboard patches..stale sounding
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2012, 12:03:34 pm »

Are we talking just piano/EP and organ patches or something else?

Partially on any keyboard it's finding the right patch for live use, which will almost always be different than a patch for home and/or studio. On my ancient Kurzweil K2000, I have 10 different piano patches from dark to bright. Same with B3, Rhodes and Wurli sample patches.

On the mono vs. stereo, not sure which synths have a problem running mono - we have had zero issues with a K2000, Roland VK8M, Korg X50 running mono through a good DI. Again, different for live vs. home/studio; mono ensures everyone in the audience hears all the piano notes, not just the ones on their side...
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Dave Barnett

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Re: keyboard patches..stale sounding
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2012, 08:27:52 pm »

On my ancient Kurzweil K2000, I have 10 different piano patches from dark to bright. Same with B3, Rhodes and Wurli sample patches.



I've never heard a board with a B3, Rhodes, Wurli, or Clav setting that sounded good through a DI.  They're always too "tinkly".  Playing the keyboard through a guitar amp instead of a DI can make those vintage key settings come alive though.
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