Help me choose a midrange workstation

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ZeeOne
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Help me choose a midrange workstation

Post by ZeeOne » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:31 pm

So right now the only keyboard instrument I have is an M-Audio Code 49 that I use with the virtual instrument plugins that come with Pro Tools (XPand!2 and Vacuum mostly, though the piano and B3 sims are nice). It's annoying to have to restart my computer and wait for PT to load if I want to play anything other than guitar, so I want to get an actual keyboard. But it has to have some sampling capabilities, so I'm looking at workstations*.

My budget is around $1500. I want something fairly portable, so 61-key models only, please. Anything super low or high can be taken care of via multitracking (better for mixing anyway). Also, I'm looking for something no older than 2005, so no Emulators or Ensoniq VFXs; no matter how great they are, I want modern computer integration. Lastly, I want some hands-on tweakability (the more knobs/sliders, the better).

Models I've been looking at:

-Korg KROSS 2
-Korg TR61
-Roland FA-06
-Kurzweil PC361
-Yamaha MOXF6 (also looked at the MODX6 but I don't think it has sampling)

Any other suggestions?

*As an aside, I've never liked the term "workstation". It brings to mind a tool with which to do a job instead of a musical instrument for expressing oneself with. Yes, they can be useful for high end applications like soundtracks and production, but at the end of the day, it's like Eddie Van Halen said, "You don't work music, you play it."

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Re: Help me choose a midrange workstation

Post by Virgule » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:00 am

Korg M3 61

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meatballfulton
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Re: Help me choose a midrange workstation

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:30 pm

-Korg KROSS 2
-Roland FA-06

Sampling limited to one-shots and loops (i.e. focusing on drums) for both of these. No multismapling.

-Yamaha MOXF6 (also looked at the MODX6 but I don't think it has sampling)

Both have sample playback from flash memory (built-in for MODX, optional for MOXF), but neither can sample by themselves
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Help me choose a midrange workstation

Post by ZeeOne » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:45 pm

meatballfulton wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:30 pm
-Korg KROSS 2
-Roland FA-06

Sampling limited to one-shots and loops (i.e. focusing on drums) for both of these. No multismapling.

-Yamaha MOXF6 (also looked at the MODX6 but I don't think it has sampling)

Both have sample playback from flash memory (built-in fro MODX, optional fro MOXF), but neither can sample by themselves
Oh...what about the Kurzweil? Any other suggestions?

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Re: Help me choose a midrange workstation

Post by meatballfulton » Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:18 am

No experience with the others you mentioned which is why I wrote nothing.

How important is the sampling function to you? The trend for at least the last 5 years is to remove multisampling from workstations, but allow multisample import. Yamaha even offers free auto-sampling tools to owners for this purpose. Sample and edit on the computer, load into the keyboard for performance.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Help me choose a midrange workstation

Post by ZeeOne » Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:42 pm

meatballfulton wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:18 am
How important is the sampling function to you? The trend for at least the last 5 years is to remove multisampling from workstations, but allow multisample import. Yamaha even offers free auto-sampling tools to owners for this purpose. Sample and edit on the computer, load into the keyboard for performance.
I think my perception of sampling is stuck in the Emulator/Mirage era (digitally record audio and play it back in any key on the keyboard) so you'll need to explain what you're saying here. I want sampling so I can record some of tones from XPand!2 and play them live without dragging my computer/audio interface along, although with that said it's still up in the air whether or not I'd be gigging with the keyboard for the time being. My band plays metal and not the symphonic kind, but I did recently demo a song that had keyboard parts and 2 out of the 4 other members of the band said they like it...

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Re: Help me choose a midrange workstation

Post by meatballfulton » Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:51 pm

ZeeOne wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:42 pm
I want sampling so I can record some of tones from XPand!2 and play them live without dragging my computer/audio interface along
That's multisampling: multiple samples of an instrument to make it playable across the full keyboard without obvious pitch stretching and capturing the velocity response. That's mostly disappeared from workstations and is definitely absent in all the current low-end models.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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