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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » General Discussion
49 key synths??
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laura woodswalker



Joined: Oct 06, 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:18 pm    Post subject: 49 key synths?? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Greetings folks....
I have a 49-key Novation X-station which is giving me some problems with reliability. This has caused me to see what else is out there.
People were singing the praises of the Ultranova, and I was already to run out & buy one till I realized it only has 37 keys. Online searches produced slim pickings: the only other synths out there for under $1000 were the M-Audio Venom and the Roland Gaia.

People advise me to 'look for them at Guitar Center & see how you like them." My Guitar Center is in Plymouth Meeting PA and all they have are some used workstations & about 100 MIDI controllers of various kinds. This leads me to wonder "are hardware synths going obsolete?" I have a laptop and 25-key controller in my rig but I am old fashioned and I just feel like a hardware instrument is a necessary supplement to a good music rig.

At the same time, me being sort of a newbie rather than a pro, I don't feel that it's appropriate for me to spend over $1000 for a Nord.

Another option I could go is find a used synth & buy it thru Guitar Ctr. (not Craigs... too unreliable.) I was looking at the Alesis Ion, what are some of the other good ones? Has anyone else gone this route and what were your experiences?

Finally, has everyone else in the synth world learned to be comfortable with 37 keys to play leads? The Ultranova does look pretty great except for those missing 12 keys.

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

IMO, 37 keys is a not really that productive on a modern polyphonic synth. 37 keys can work OK for monophonic or duophonic solos. One option is to buy something like a 76 key controller keyboard and use that with whatever synth or module you have.
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laura woodswalker



Joined: Oct 06, 2007
Posts: 419
Location: valley forge pa
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
IMO, 37 keys is a not really that productive on a modern polyphonic synth. 37 keys can work OK for monophonic or duophonic solos. One option is to buy something like a 76 key controller keyboard and use that with whatever synth or module you have.


I already have the 49 key X-station which could work just fine as a MIDI controller. But rather than take up another MIDI track in Ableton & deal with arming issues etc, I wanted to just use the audio.

I don't understand why the newest entry-level synths are coming out with just 37 keys. Unless they have to keep the price in the $599 range and can only include either synthesis stuff (oscillators, LFOs etc) or Keys...but not both.

Which makes me wonder if I should just break out my old Yamaha MM6 out of storage. That had nothing much for synthesis (a generic keyboard really) but 61 keys. Might sound OK when layered with Abelton MIDI sounds.

It is just difficult to finish an E-M performance and suddenly be confronted with major Gear issues. Kind of throws the motivation down the toilet.

Oh well!! that's the way the cookie crumbles!!

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laura woodswalker



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:06 pm    Post subject: Casio XW-P1 Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So I have been shopping for a possible replacement for my X-station. Looking for a hardware synth to complement my MIDI rig. Something with decent sounds & some versatility. I don't care if it is 'analog' and has 5 million filter profiles or whatever. I am still kind of a newbie and good sounds & flexibility of use are far more important to me than a classy label like "Moog" or "Nord".

Since all the midrange synths are 37 keys I found myself looking at this Casio XW-P1. I watched the demos and can't help thinking it looks pretty good!!! Sure, it is mostly PCM...but there seems to be a lot of versatility.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVr9HgEURb8&feature=related

Yeah I know everyone hates Casio & thinks it's cheezy... but anyone can change... right?

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egw



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

emu xk-6
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=261097929877&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123
I think this is better than the casio.
The XL rom can be found for under $100.

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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm in agreement with Greg. AND you get an xl-7 sequencer built in! Bargain. Smile

Missing my old Emu e6400 and my later E4. I've found an esi-32 on eBay for £25 fully expanded, but now need to work out if it will read E4 disks. Sorry for the OT.

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