The death of the keyboard ?!?!?

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yellowfever
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The death of the keyboard ?!?!?

Post by yellowfever » Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:52 pm

OK. Maybe the headline got your attention? Anyhow, my thoughts as follows;
With more and more people moving into PC based recording, Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic whatever, I'm wondering do we really need both rack and keyboard versions of new synths / keyboards? An honest question, warranting an honest thought response! Personally, I have bought and sold a number of keys / modules to hook up to a sequencer. I have no intention of performing anymore, just writing / recording / producing and it just seems that maybe 1 or 2 midi keyboard controllers can do the job of 16 / 32 synths. Yeah, sure, they look fantastic all stacked one above the other, side by side etc, but I'm doing it as a space saving exercise as well. My rack gives me loads of options, hundreds of sounds and infinite tweakability......
This obviously will not apply to band members / performers, who need their rigs for live work; or do they ? :wink:
Thoughts, if you please.
Cheers. :D

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Post by Denms20 » Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:01 pm

there will always be us crotchety old timers that insist on using that odd combination of white and black switches...well, maybe not always, but we ain't ready to die off yet.
As far as modules, etc. and one controller, that's cool if everything works well, but some of us are used to playing rythmn on one keyboard and reahing up on another one for a brass stab here and there. So definitely two controllers would be necessary at a minimum.
Speaking for myself though, it's much easier to grab another synth with keyboard than mess with a module, probably just more what I'm used to though.
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Post by JSRockit » Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:01 pm

Some people just do not like racks... I hate them (too annoying to get the functionality of a knobby, keyboard / sequencer equipped synth). So, the only options I want are desktop models with built in sequencers or models with keys. Due to space concerns, I tend to not own more than a handful of synths at a time.
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Post by hematurge » Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:06 pm

I prefer modules myself, unless it's one of those big expensive do everything keyboards that you can make your entire album on. A rack of gear + MIDI patchbay + 2 octave keyboard = me happy.
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Post by Bitexion » Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:08 pm

Claiming that is as ridiculous as those that said "Internet is the death of paper!!!!" It'll never happen. There will always be throngs of people who don't have computers still.

I still buy computer magazines, although I could read thousands of game reviews online. It FEELS better to hold a physical magazine in your hands. And it feels better to play a real keyboard.

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Post by yellowfever » Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:13 pm

hematurge wrote:I prefer modules myself, unless it's one of those big expensive do everything keyboards that you can make your entire album on. A rack of gear + MIDI patchbay + 2 octave keyboard = me happy.
My thoughts exactly mate.

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Post by Constantine » Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:14 pm

no, i don't think so. there's something special about keyboard synths, they are more inspiring than rack modules. it's only in my (and some other people's) minds of course but it does matter :)

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Post by nathanscribe » Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:33 pm

hematurge wrote:2 octave keyboard
I can't get my head round these 2-oct things. I can't imagine using any less than 3 for a mono or 5 for poly stuff... nice big spread of notes, that's what you need... :)

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Post by hematurge » Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:36 pm

nathanscribe wrote:
hematurge wrote:2 octave keyboard
I can't get my head round these 2-oct things. I can't imagine using any less than 3 for a mono or 5 for poly stuff... nice big spread of notes, that's what you need... :)
I'm not that great a player anyway and it helps to save space. Using one for a while you do get handy with octave +/- buttons though. I mostly go for mono synth sounds anyway so it's never really given me much trouble.
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Post by CS_TBL » Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:51 pm

There are technical motivations and psychical/emotional motivations, let's make sure we divide arguments between them.

On a psychological/emotional level one has a reason to touch things, keyboards with lots of controllers, modules to build a wall of displays and freaky lights, and a big/wide mixing console, all to be impressed or to impress people.

Technologically speaking: I could ditch the whole shebang from my sig and live with one or two good PC's, period.

Let's do the math:

* Occasionally I'm doing a mix of 32 stereo tracks orso + some 2 or 3 stereo effects. It'd require a mixing console of at least 64 tracks.. we all know those big bastards cost more than oodles, and come at 2 meters at least.

* A good reverb in hardware costs.. what? $1000++? And that's one reverb. It's not like technology is expensive, it's just not mass produced, it's hardware and therefor expensive.

* Samplewise, I'm streaming tens o' gigabytes for a song, show me a hardware sampler that does the same (not talking about computers dressed like synths) And yes, samplers with small displays suck, samplers that don't read .gig suck, etc.

* Mastering? I've choice! SSL plugins? Waves plugins? I'm swimming in choice. I'm very sure the possible hardware versions are not at all fun to pay for.

* softsynths (analogue, FM etc.)? There're some excellent plugins, and you can have multiple instances of 'em. The real keyboard/module equivalent of a softsynth costs a fortune already and that's just 1 instance. And yes, you can record them again and again 'faking' you have multiple instances, but it's not practical: you want to tweak them all at the same time!

* Multitrack.. why get those Mackie/Fostex/Yamaha multitrack rackbeasts we saw some 6 years ago? They're 16..24 (mono)channels at most. My PC happily outruns that.


The reasons for real hardware are psychological/emotional, and in case of bands/performing perhaps 'show' is a reason (tho: stack some high-end midikeyboards controlling a laptop and it's all showy again).

I also don't care for the 'x-factor' or 'unique filter' or 'unique sound' of certain synths. Scientifically speaking everything has a reason, 'fat' is subjective, 'fat' can be analysed, 'fat' can be reproduced.
Apart from that, show me this uniqueness in a dense mix full o' layers and effects.

Does it mean that the psychological/emotional factor is to be wrong? Of course not, but if you're after productionquality/speed and you don't really care for hardware: stick to software.

/rant :lol:
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Post by AstroDan » Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:57 pm

Please don't die, keyboard'd synths. I need something to put upon my lap and play whilst I am watching Footballer's Wives on BBC America...
Too futurist to live.

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Post by Denms20 » Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:59 pm

CS_TBL wrote: The reasons for real hardware are psychological/emotional, and in case of bands/performing perhaps 'show' is a reason (tho: stack some high-end midikeyboards controlling a laptop and it's all showy again.
It's funny seeing where everybody comes from, and how they percieve the "other side".
I can assure you, if I take more than one keyboard on a job, it's not for show! Those things are a pain to lug around, hook up, etc.
THis arguement fails to take into account the fact that someone really into the playing side will react differently and play differently on various keyboards. It's even too simple to say all you need is a weighted and non weighted controller, there's a world of difference how I play my clav from my JX8P from my MS-20. And the keyboard contributes a large part of this.
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Post by wiss » Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:08 pm

in the future we wil hook up something to our findertips or head and music will be created by thoughts
Last edited by wiss on Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Analogue Crazy » Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:15 pm

Im a young musician who hates new technology. I started off with loads of softsynths and now i use no MIDI or computers at all. Im stuck in the late 70's now that i have heard VCO's again.
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Post by yellowfever » Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:58 pm

Analogue Crazy wrote:Im a young musician who hates new technology. I started off with loads of softsynths and now i use no MIDI or computers at all. Im stuck in the late 70's now that i have heard VCO's again.
mmmm? what do you use for recording, out of curiosity?

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