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What to buy...???
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JimDavis



Joined: 06 Nov 2017
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:27 pm    Post subject: What to buy...??? Reply with quote

Let me explain my unique situation.

I am a beginner / intermediate level keyboard player. From 1 to 10 probably 4 is my number.
I played guitar and bass and drums in my earlier days. It was in a band when I was younger and at a church band when I got older.

I am 61 now and semi retired with tons of time on hand.

In my younger days I really enjoyed listening Jean Michelle Jarre's "Oxygen" kind of music.
So, now I am looking to buy a keyboard which heavily loaded with synth sounds, space sounds and with capabilities to create JMJ sound-a-like music.

BUT, (and it's a big but) I don't want to spend 6 hrs of programming in order to play a 3-4 minute long melody.

I don't want to sound smug or like an a**hole, but money is not really an object at this point in my life for this purpose. Of course within a reason. If there's a model that I never heard which may cost more than my car or motorcycle then forget it. But I don't care if it's $1500 or $6000. As long as I don't have to buy a second or third keyboard or drum machine to achieve what I am trying to accomplish.

I am aware this is Korg forum and I expect it to be biased towards Korg brand. I owned a Kronos 61 for a very short while and I don't know why it didn't meet my needs.

I admit it was a much more than I can handle type of instrument probably but also wasn't designed specifically what I wanted to do.

I am not like Jordan Rudess (although I wish I was) and my music style won't be like his either.

I need a keyboard/workstation/syhntheseizer that is not loaded with 1000 sounds with 500-600 of them being the variations of pianos, organs, flutes, violins etc.
I rather have 900 spacey, out of this world sounds, choirs, pads with rhytmic variations then 200 different pianos.

So, in light of this, any recommendations?

I looked from low end (pricing wise) models like Roland Juno-DS61 to mid price range Kurzweil PC3K or FA 07, Krome models to high end New Fantom, Montage, even Genos and Moog One...

Still have no idea which one gives me the most of what I want?

Oh, one more last thing. I am NOT going to perform anywhere other than in my music room at home and bother no one other than my wife. All I want to make my own music, record some of it and leave it to my children and grandchildren after I am gone. That's all.

Any help appreciated.
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voip
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Joined: 27 Nov 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't write the Kronos off. Here's a good example, by Dan Stesco, of what's possible:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0xI9RmUsnY

.
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JimDavis



Joined: 06 Nov 2017
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

voip wrote:
Don't write the Kronos off. Here's a good example, by Dan Stesco, of what's possible:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0xI9RmUsnY

.


Thank you for the reply but also I hate you for turning me around towards the Kronos! Wink

I don't even remember now, what it was that caused me to return my Kronos 61. Did it overwhelm me or what? Honestly no idea at the moment.

Is what you send me in the link possible to do without 2 days of tedious programming?

I see he assigned some effects to the joystick but where those effects came from? An external database, computer, note by note programming?

I don't want to replicate him or JMJ but also I don't want to add a computer to my setup and sit in front of a laptop and hrs and hrs struggle with some software to achieve something like on the link.
(BTW it was great! Thanks!!!)
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GregC
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Joined: 15 May 2002
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Location: Discovery Bay (San Francisco Bay Area)

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jim, I am retired, too. So I have a few hours every day to put into Kronos, practicing, working on songs, recording, etc.

I would recommend an intermediate step before something as complex as Kronos.

Its great to be ambitious. Music production is like eating a huge elephant. The metaphor is to take a small bite at a time.

If you like Korg sounds and the way Korg approaches music production, maybe a less complex Korg is a good step. Krome might be a consideration. 61 is young, and you have many years to acquire keyboard skills.

Once you solve the quest of a suitable keyboard, I think an approach to getting more skills, that emphasize your inherent strengths , is just as important.
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Poseidon
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Joined: 08 Jul 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say there is no a single keyboard to fulfil your wish.
Korg kronos definitely is not the one you are after.

if you want 900 spacey, out of this world sounds, and money is not the issue, consider Waldorf Quantum ( https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/waldorf-quantum ) But as I mentioned previously, Quantum on its own will not be enough.

If you willing to reconsider PC setup, there are some virtual synths that are just right ( a MUST ! ) for your style:

Spectronics Omnisphere ( https://www.spectrasonics.net/products/omnisphere/ )
Diva, the spirit of analogue ( https://u-he.com/products/diva/ )
Zebra2 ( https://u-he.com/products/zebra2/ )

You could always get Arturia KeyLab MkII ( https://www.arturia.com/products/hybrid-synths/keylab-mkii/overview ) MIDI controller, and at the same time you get Analog Lab !

Combine with Waldorf Quantum, I would call it a PERFECT JARRE setup.
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JimDavis



Joined: 06 Nov 2017
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GregC wrote:
Hi Jim, I am retired, too. So I have a few hours every day to put into Kronos, practicing, working on songs, recording, etc.

I would recommend an intermediate step before something as complex as Kronos.

Its great to be ambitious. Music production is like eating a huge elephant. The metaphor is to take a small bite at a time.

If you like Korg sounds and the way Korg approaches music production, maybe a less complex Korg is a good step. Krome might be a consideration. 61 is young, and you have many years to acquire keyboard skills.

Once you solve the quest of a suitable keyboard, I think an approach to getting more skills, that emphasize your inherent strengths , is just as important.


Hi Greg,

I agree wholeheartedly and I was thinking exactly what you are recommending. But then of course it comes to mind that "buy your second one first" kind of advise to my mind.

Probably more suitable analogy for our age is like " a larger size pants still works with a tight belt but if your pants are too small that you can't pull them up through your thighs then you're screwed".

My thought process with Kronos or Fantom or any high end models is, I can always begin with using only 30% or 40% of the capabilities of a complex unit and when I learn more within time it can go up to 50-60-70 eventually 100%.

Although I am talking as if I know a crappola regarding the capability differences between each models, I actually have no idea.

My fear is always to spend good amount of $ with a device and then in a few months or even a year later when getting advanced and then find out that my middle of the road model does not have that ability.

Even though I mentioned JMJ & his Oxygen album as one of my favorite music style, what I want to accomplish is to make music that you may hear while getting massage. Kind of instrumental version of Enya or the kind you get on Sirius/XM radio's Soundscapes, New Age... Therefore, what really important to me is the large capacity sound bank of a keyboard with tons of unusual sounds, extraordinary arpeggiator setup capability...
Until now, the middle of the road models I checked either didn't seem to have those capabilities or they had a limited version of it compared to high end ones.

But is there a simple way to overcome that issue by purchasing and adding patches, etc. I have no idea. If it could be accomplished like that, sure why not!

Basically, I agree with your advise. Why buy the most sophisticated and complicated DSLR camera if you're only going to shoot in Auto mode kind of advise, I was giving to other photography enthusiast. BUtr at the same time if they want to learn specialty photography and if their camera doesn't have that setup option then what they are going to do?

That's my current dilemma.

But let me tell you, learning about these things and researching becoming as fun as playing them. Recently I watched hundreds of Demo videos of various models of synth, workstations etc. Then I began to understand why most people stack multiple them on top of each other. Whatever one lacks the other one does better and vice versa.

Why they don't make a special one just for me that does everything??? Rolling Eyes

Thanks for taking time to respond, I appreciate the advise!
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GregC
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Joined: 15 May 2002
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Location: Discovery Bay (San Francisco Bay Area)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear you. A fair amount of my stuff is background ready. I call it ' chill '.

Have friends who suggest I make tracks for telephone systems, where customers are stuck on hold for 10 minutes. Thats more business stuff, however.

Anyway, we can wing metaphors around. Mine is you have to crawl before you stumble.

With todays gear, it can get complex quickly. I prefer to not get bogged down with lots of gear. To me, work flow is everything.

Given you had a taste of Kronos, I think a step back towards keeping it simple is what I would do.

For example, if you wear out a Krome in 1 year, then you can step up the complexity. Heck , learning midi is complex enough by itself.

Whatever keyboard you decide I suggest it gives a clear visual on navigation.
Consider making a list of your requirements. Then match up a few boards to that list
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Achieve your musical dreams Smile
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JimDavis



Joined: 06 Nov 2017
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again I agree, GregC.

How do you feel about your FA 07. That was on my list of consideration too. I also thought something less expensive like an FA07($1650) and combine it with something like MX49 ($550)and voila a cool setup for for a total of $2200...instead of getting a Kronos 73 for $3500!

I have no idea if I will be in a better shape by doing that and get really cool speaker setup with my savings of $1300 up to above calculation.

At this point I am considering every option.

Especially KROME & MX49 combo sounds even a much much more simplified and economical deal too...

Search continues...
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voip
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Joined: 27 Nov 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consider, too, that Jean Michel Jarre relied quite heavily on specific instruments for certain albums e.g. Industrial Revolutions is famous for its use of Roland D50 sounds and, for Téo & Téa, he used the Roland MC-808, together with other instruments, such as Korg Radias, Moog Voyager, Roland Fantom-X-8, Roland V-Synth, Access Virus, SH-201, and Pro Tools HD3.

It is a relatively simple matter to drive additional synths from the Kronos (or any other keyboard's MIDI Out), and additionally using the Kronos as a USB MIDI device to control e.g. a laptop running something like Omnisphere. The audio from each of these can be sent to a mixer and routed out to PA, headphones, or whatever, or back into the Kronos Audio in and, before you know it, you have the capability to deliver a luxuriously rich soundscape.

.
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Mr_SamDoogie
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Joined: 01 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe an arranger , Korg PA are with synth sounds enough to get close to an original song and none to hard deep synth programming to invest as with the Kronos.

But most important what truly fancy you're ear to be satisfied with. A Krome or the fidelity of the Kronos or an arranger Think
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Korg MW1, Casio PX5S & XW-G1, Roland JD-Xi,Yamaha Montage 7, Roland D-05, Bass Station II, Cubase Elements, Sonar X3 Producer.Handfull of IOs Apps iMPC,Animoog : Korg IMS-20,Module, IM1, Gadget etc.
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Jevans22



Joined: 14 Nov 2019
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally Jim I would go with the Kronos 73 or 88 (I bought the 8Cool as it is unlikely you will outgrow it. I moved from a Krome to the Kronos because it gave me everything I wanted in one unit.

You can just sit down and play it using the preset sounds to inspire you (plenty of spacey sounds in there), you can sample sounds with it, you can record your own audio tracks (electric guitar for example) or you can just experiment with the different sound generators and make your own sounds. The flexibility of the sequencer modes give so much scope for musical innovation and creativity.

I am only on my first few steps with my journey into the Kronos but am doing what Greg says, taking small bites at a time, and really enjoying the experience of learning new skills.

If you want immediacy, it gives you that - if you want complexity, it gives you that also.

I researched as much as I could and viewed many demos and came to the conclusion that as a one-stop shop, the Kronos is hard to beat.
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Jimdavis,

As other friends and considering your wish, I really don't advise you to look for a Kronos.
The Kronos is my main keyboard. I've bought it for two reasons : the great sound quality and its complexity.
The possibilities of the Kronos are abolutely tremendous. As I often say : the Kronos is not a synthesizer, its a complete worstation. So, we must consider it as a real musical studio.
The Kronos has two sides. On one side we have the fabulous possiblities and on the other side a real complexity. just imagine : the complete manuals of the Kronos reaches about 2,000 pages (yes, two thousands !). The parameters guide only : 1,200 pages.

Perhaps you could have a look to one of our friends Youtube Channel : Qui Robinez. Because he did many video and tutos on the Kronos, by the past. And now he uploads somes vidéos on other keyboards : Arrangers like
Korg PA4X : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Tj2FTbgfKE
YAmaha Genos : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnNzkwbdJ4c
The advantage for you of an arranger is that it is steady on power on. Immediatly ready to play.
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GregC
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Joined: 15 May 2002
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Location: Discovery Bay (San Francisco Bay Area)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JimDavis wrote:
Again I agree, GregC.

How do you feel about your FA 07. That was on my list of consideration too. I also thought something less expensive like an FA07($1650) and combine it with something like MX49 ($550)and voila a cool setup for for a total of $2200...instead of getting a Kronos 73 for $3500!

I have no idea if I will be in a better shape by doing that and get really cool speaker setup with my savings of $1300 up to above calculation.

At this point I am considering every option.

Especially KROME & MX49 combo sounds even a much much more simplified and economical deal too...

Search continues...


hey Jim, glad to help. The FA and the MX is a strong and reasonable combination.

You could get the FA first, wrap the brain around it for some months, then add the MX.

FA 07 Pro's

classic ballsy aggressive Roland sound character, reminds of their many 90's synths
several hundred on board synth tones to play with. Roland synth sounds are legendary
FA 07 is reasonably light for a 73 key. And sturdy molded plastic.
Several on board controls and clear lay out
Boot up time under 10 seconds
Good to Very good sound quality of classic acoustic instruments. Classic realism of EP',s , guitars, flute, etc etc
Optional free Axial sounds to D/L. from the well regarded SRX expansions
Literally a few thousand sounds, lots to get lost in.
Color LCD has good contrast
DAW ready
Good price for a deep featured keyboard

FA 07 Cons

Color LCD is not touch screen. Fonts are very small. Menus are deep.
Has several directional arrows and tab keys to press to get to edits, other screens, etc
Will take a few months to learn the Roland way of navigating
Orchestra ensembles are weak
Orchestra String sections sound too 'synthy'.
Takes training time to use "Studio Sets' and on board midi SEQ
No additional advanced sound programming [ my grip as a 2 yr owner]
Not considered a full work station.
Organ sounds are average.

Check out the manual, esp the Sound list:
https://www.roland.com/us/support/by_product/fa-06/owners_manuals/
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Achieve your musical dreams Smile
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GregC
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few more thoughts.

I am waiting for NAMM 2020 in Jan.

I hope Korg shakes it up by introducing new keyboards. If so, that might lower the price on EOL Korg keyboards. Keep in mind, this is my wishful thinking.

MODX and Kurzweil PC3 are significant under $2000 keyboards. Both are a step above the FA,

I am on the fence for the MODX , a NAMM waiting game.
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Eduardo_Arg
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Joined: 29 May 2013
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Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi JimDavis:

First i must agree with GREGC over all he wrote about FA.-
As a Korg user since long time ago, my opinion is subjetive.-
Although, i suggest you before buying any keyboard, go to your trusted store and TEST all of them (with the same amp), then you can choose that one who match your preferences.-
As i said previously, i'm a Korg user, so i can affirm you there is not better workstation than Kronos.- The best of the best, really the King of keyboards.-
You must not take in count exclusively the price, FA or MODX or PC3/PC4 cost less because the offer less.- And if you are going to invest lot of $$ do it for the best (Kronos).-
Krome is a mid time inversion; i won't invest half penny on it.-
To get the best of any keyboard, you must love it.- Thats that happens with Kronos, the first time you play it you'll love, and surelly, for ever.-
Finally, take in count that keyboard is not the only invest you must make to get the best sound; if you are not plans for gigs, my suggestion go for a good pair of studio monitor (enough for home use), in that case, Mackie Hr 824, they match with Kronos like bread & butter.-
I know what you may think: this guy suggest me to invest a fortune, nothing far away.- I you enjoy playing music, you must do it with the best you can get for your money.-
Hopping these helps you.-
With regards.
Eduardo
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