"Home keyboards" - real studios

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Jay200MPH
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"Home keyboards" - real studios

Post by Jay200MPH » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:18 am

The discussion on Yamaha DJ-X series a little while ago got me thinking about this. Do any of you use 'home' keyboards in your setup?

I've got a Casio SA-5 on my desk although I haven't managed to work it into any songs yet. It's heaps of fun to screw around on though, especially run through effects, and I still want to try sampling+chopping up its built in drum loops. I also played around with a Yamaha PSR-E423 a while ago and some of the presets were actually really nice once you got past all the "Piano 1, E.Guitar 1, Harpsichord, blah blah" GM stuff. But it only had MIDI over USB so I didn't bite.

I'm sure there are some underrated gems out there but there's also a lot of c**p... That said the average "budget" keyboard today can do what high-end ROMplers of a few years ago only dreamed about.

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Re: "Home keyboards" - real studios

Post by Psy_Free » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:38 pm

When I first started making music in my teens I used to use home keyboard Casios (MT-40, MT-65 etc) & Yamahas (VSS-200 & PSS-570) because I couldn't afford real synths. Shoved through a bunch of effects they sounded OK. The VSS-200 was good fun (cheapo sampling with equally cheapo mangling).

Once I could afford synths though, I stopped using them. I bought another VSS-200 a couple of years ago for the kids to mess about with, so I might borrow it for some nostalgia-driven tunes one day.
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Re: "Home keyboards" - real studios

Post by zoomtheline » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:49 pm

Yeah, I have a few little casio's and yamaha pss390, pss580. They are bent to buggery and have given me so many odd samples. The pss570 was my first keyboard as a kid so was stoked to get hold of that again.

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Re: "Home keyboards" - real studios

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:26 pm

I used my mom's Lowrey organ that I modified with an FX loop for over 15 years until I afford to buy my first synth. "Hawaiian guitar" pitch bender and 100% analog drum machine (thud-whish-thud-whish) which graced all my recordings until I got a TR-505 around 1988.

It even had that "repeat percussion" switch that the Who used for "Baba O'Riley" :guitar:

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Re: "Home keyboards" - real studios

Post by antilles » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:58 pm

I'm about to try to use my old Casio PT-100 in a song. Just for fun and nostalgia.

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Re: "Home keyboards" - real studios

Post by vicd » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:15 pm

Quite a lot of stuff done in the nineties on those "self-playing balalaikas" (Casio CTK-601 and Yamaha PSR-310).

I don't like the drums, but the drums like me!

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Re: "Home keyboards" - real studios

Post by vinyl_junkie » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:21 pm

Yes amongst some Casio's is my Roland HS-10. It's the "home" version of the Alpha Juno 1

It's the same bar the plastic case and the presets, although they share the same names and are in the same locations as the JU-1 they are slightly different. For example Organ 1 on the HS-10 isn't the same organ patch as on the JU-1

On the HS-10 it sounds like this



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Re: "Home keyboards" - real studios

Post by StepLogik » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:32 pm

Like so many others, I started off with consumer casios and yamahas because I couldn't afford "real" synths. Most of them are long gone, but I still have a few consumer keyboards and I use them frequently. Many consumer models sound really, really good if properly processed.

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Re: "Home keyboards" - real studios

Post by Sweep » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:44 am

See the discussion of Instruments and Techniques on my website.

Technics KN750 - as heard here with a few modulations from an ARP Axxe at the beginning and end:

My website has several pieces for the Technics KN750, and also Technics KN720 on `Silbury,' and Casio CKT900 on tracks like `Upon This Hill,' `Birds,' and `Spring Meadows.'

`Dragon Hill' is very popular - see the website version, and also the alternative version with a Kawai K1 piece layered over it here: That's a Yamaha home organ with some effects, plus ebow guitar.
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Re: "Home keyboards" - real studios

Post by Cumulus » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:51 am

I've been using Casios and Yamahas since the 80's. I loved the SK-1 and the Yamaha VSS-100 back in the day.

I also use the Casio SK-1 and an MT-120 (I think), CK-500, PT-whatever, Yamaha PSS-270, Blue Man Group keyboard, Tyco Hot Keyz, Kawasaki something, Bontempi Memplay, Magnuson air organ, Mattel Synsonics Drums, Beat Blenders, Bratz and Barbie keyboards plus some others I can't remember right now.

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Re: "Home keyboards" - real studios

Post by tekkentool » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:03 am

meatballfulton wrote:I used my mom's Lowrey organ that I modified with an FX loop for over 15 years until I afford to buy my first synth. "Hawaiian guitar" pitch bender and 100% analog drum machine (thud-whish-thud-whish) which graced all my recordings until I got a TR-505 around 1988.

It even had that "repeat percussion" switch that the Who used for "Baba O'Riley" :guitar:

Image
Did it have one of those hooks on the pedal that bends it down a semitone?

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Re: "Home keyboards" - real studios

Post by Dano » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:33 am

I have a DJX. :)

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Re: "Home keyboards" - real studios

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:24 pm

tekkentool wrote:Did it have one of those hooks on the pedal that bends it down a semitone?
Yeah, that was the "Hawaiian guitar" effect. There was a second switch on the pedal for a wah-wah 8-)

I'd hook up a fuzz box and use my open reel deck for tape echo.
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Re: "Home keyboards" - real studios

Post by StepLogik » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:25 pm

The Yamaha consumer keyboards with the little FM mini-synthesizers sound really, really good and are quite versatile. With a little reverb and EQ they sound like different machines. They can do wonderful punchy FM bass or rich, thick pads with lots of detune and vibrato.

These keyboards were made in abundance so they are readily available at your local pawn shop or on craigslist.

Now off to eBay so I can watch the bids on these Yamaha consumer boards escalate....

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Re: "Home keyboards" - real studios

Post by Virgule » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:33 pm

Sometimes, I would just like a simple keyboard to actually use Piano, harpsichord and guitars sounds without needing the total functionalities of a high-end synthesizer or computer. I've been looking for a Yamaha PSR-E313/E333 lately. Ok sounds, touch-sensitive, midi, multitimbral, from the mid-2000s.

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