#1
Hi guys, I thought I'd let the bandleading forum take a break from the middle school angst that plagues it so often.. I was wondering what kind of equipment would be necessary in general for a keyboard/synth player in most rock bands nowadays. to do stuff like Underoath, and Scary Kids Scaring Kids, what stuff would someone need and how much would it cost? ...in general.

Thanks a ton.
Quote by Strato-Massacre
yeah you shouldnt have told the pit to rape your mom.

Quote by Kensai
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#2
A good quality keyboard/synth and a decent PA or keyboard amp is all you really need. Also, an instrument cable to connect the two and probably a stand for the keyboard might be a good idea as well. Pretty simple actually.

Do NOT use a guitar amp for keys.
Last edited by Erkekjetter at Nov 4, 2009,
#3
cool, PA would happen. Would a bass amp be any better than a guitar? Cause he's already got a solid one, I think a Fender Rumble 50... I think... But also, for at shows at venues and stuff, would he just plug straight into the building's PA? so the only reason for it would be practice right?

What about a Laptop with software for a bigger sound bank or whatever other versatility that offers? What about drum loopy stuff? Much like what Underoath does from time to time if you're familiar. Not dance beats or anything like that, like accents... its hard to explain I guess.

Other than that, is there any kind of beginner faq someone can point me to?

Thanks.
Quote by Strato-Massacre
yeah you shouldnt have told the pit to rape your mom.

Quote by Kensai
It's not sexist, girls are just too stupid and weak to hold up doors and stuff for themselves.
Last edited by Lt.DanHasLegs at Nov 4, 2009,
#4
depends entirely on the sound you want and what you're willing to go through for it. i personally recommend a laptop + midi controller for a wider variety of sounds available. standalone synth hardware is generally expensive for the good stuff whereas with pc's you can get a controller, some vst's and some software. so while you spent $700 - $800 on a laptop and keyboard, you didn't have to spend $4k on a keyboard. that being said, getting good samples for pc legally isn't cheap.
#5
^excellent advice, thats what I'm looking for. for a little backstory, if anyone's interested. I'm in a fairly solid band right now, and we've been thinking about our stuff, and we've got a really good friends who's a great musician and he's been making some electro stuff we like, he'll be a great fit. Anyways, I'm pretty sure he doesn't have much in the way of pro equipment, he's more of a dabbler in synthy stuff but overall a great musician.

Sooo, he's already got a really solid laptop for graphic design stuff he's doing in college. So to get the ball rollin, all he'll need is a controller really right? which'll run something like $120 right? Thanks for the help guys.

What software is good? Anything particularly to avoid?
Quote by Strato-Massacre
yeah you shouldnt have told the pit to rape your mom.

Quote by Kensai
It's not sexist, girls are just too stupid and weak to hold up doors and stuff for themselves.
Last edited by Lt.DanHasLegs at Nov 4, 2009,
#6
Quote by Erkekjetter
Do NOT use a guitar amp for keys.


I'm pretty sure Jon Lord from Deep Purple used to run his organ through a Marshall amp, and lead synth lines might sound cool through a guitar amp. Obviously, you wouldn't want to play any bass keys parts through a guitar amp just like you wouldn't want to play a bass guitar through a guitar amp.

But if you're not using a guitar amp for effect, you should probably just use a proper keyboard amp or PA.

Anything you might want to try is if your practice space has a surround sound system (if it's someone's home theater or something) you could buy a 1/4 inch to RCA cable and hook it up to there, as long as it's powerful enough to be heard over the band without damaging speakers.
#7
Keyboard gear. I always feel obliged to answer these topics.

z4twenny gave good advice about the VST's. However he also said getting good vst's and samples isn't cheap, and if you're going to lay down the cash you better havethe intention of using the presets, because that would your wide array of sounds right there.

However perhaps you'd like some workstations or synthesizers.

The keyboards I see most often live, are:
Korg X-50
Korg Triton
Roland Juno
Roland Fantom X[insert random number here]
Nord Clavia series

But thats really a minimal list, in the en dit all depens on taste after all. But what kind of music are you making, then I might be able to pinpoint more in direction of what to use.

Cheers
#8
Quote by pandora_grunt
The keyboards I see most often live, are:
Korg X-50


This is the keyboard that I have and I absoultely love it. All of the programs/patches/samples are excellent. Pro quality for sure. It comes with several hundred different factory programs (and endless combination possiblities) and there are TONS available for free on the internet as well (although I've yet to find a need to download any). All we do is plug this sucker into our PA and it sounds absolutely amazing. Plus it's ultra portable. This thing was made for gigging.

I bought mine for $500 CAN used (barely). Pretty good deal. Although they are only about $700 US brand new. Well worth it IMO. Personally I think a high quality synth with a decent setup is better than going for a controller+laptop combo. But that's just my opinion. Also keep in mind, computers crash all the time. Synths don't. Important thing to consider if you're gigging.
Last edited by Erkekjetter at Nov 5, 2009,
#9
If you're not looking to make a massive investment, the Korg MicroKORG is very good indeed. It's not much use as a true keyboard - it's very much a synth and fits into that category rather than one which can function as a piano - but it's an excellent synth. Includes a vocoder if you want to use one of those, and it's professional quality (The Killers use a MicroKORG on stage).

As far as amplification goes, using a PA is far superior to a bass amp, and massively better than a guitar amp (Because synths have a truly massive range, you're likely to damage the guitar speaker by accident, and you want as little tonal influence coming from the speaker as possible).
#10
I'd highly recommend the keyboard controller via Laptop. It's becoming increasingly common due to its affordability and redonkulous amount of programs and sounds out there for it... Just make sure your laptop has alot of memory and isn't running too much just so you can get as little possible crashing...
#11
wow guys, great responses, super helpful. My friend said he was looking at probably getting a microkorg. He isn't into spending more than he has to. But here's my only other question now if anyone is still interested in this thread.

His role will mostly be crack filler in a rock band... much like silverstein's earlier stuff, but the guitar work isn't very similar at all, but the overall vibe is pretty much the same if that makes sense. We'd love to have some drum loops and stuff... what can the microkorg do in the way of that? not just like a cheap drum beat, like programmable and interactive.

Thanks a lot
Quote by Strato-Massacre
yeah you shouldnt have told the pit to rape your mom.

Quote by Kensai
It's not sexist, girls are just too stupid and weak to hold up doors and stuff for themselves.
#12
We'd love to have some drum loops and stuff... what can the microkorg do in the way of that? not just like a cheap drum beat, like programmable and interactive.


Well, it's a synthesiser. It can make drum beats (at least one of the presets has electronic drums in there). However, you are going to need to program them yourself, and jesus is that difficult to do. It could be my lack of experience with the synth itself, or just not knowing enough about them in general, but that might take you a while.

If you want drum beats, a drum machine program on a computer (or just a drum machine) is probably your best bet.
#13
Quote by Lt.DanHasLegs
wow guys, great responses, super helpful. My friend said he was looking at probably getting a microkorg. He isn't into spending more than he has to. But here's my only other question now if anyone is still interested in this thread.

His role will mostly be crack filler in a rock band... much like silverstein's earlier stuff, but the guitar work isn't very similar at all, but the overall vibe is pretty much the same if that makes sense. We'd love to have some drum loops and stuff... what can the microkorg do in the way of that? not just like a cheap drum beat, like programmable and interactive.

Thanks a lot


The Micrkorg does not produce drumbeats!

The Microkorg is a simple synthesizer. You can change basis waveforms (sinewave, sawwave, squarewaves and some extra's) into a new sound. With LFO's you can give these dounds some effects.

It also has a really basic arpegiator.

I also own the Korg X-50 which is quite good at programmed drumbeats I believe, but I don't work with that part of the devic eyet so don't take my word for it.

Good Luck
#14
Quote by Lt.DanHasLegs
^excellent advice, thats what I'm looking for. for a little backstory, if anyone's interested. I'm in a fairly solid band right now, and we've been thinking about our stuff, and we've got a really good friends who's a great musician and he's been making some electro stuff we like, he'll be a great fit. Anyways, I'm pretty sure he doesn't have much in the way of pro equipment, he's more of a dabbler in synthy stuff but overall a great musician.

Sooo, he's already got a really solid laptop for graphic design stuff he's doing in college. So to get the ball rollin, all he'll need is a controller really right? which'll run something like $120 right? Thanks for the help guys.

What software is good? Anything particularly to avoid?


if you go the laptop/MIDI controller route, the Axiom Pro series has some really great features.

as for software, east west has some very good samples, also look into reason refills, arturia is generally well recieved... are you looking for any samples to play with a MIDI controller or specifically piano/organ/key-specific samples?
#15
Quote by GrisKy
if you go the laptop/MIDI controller route, the Axiom Pro series has some really great features.

as for software, east west has some very good samples, also look into reason refills, arturia is generally well recieved... are you looking for any samples to play with a MIDI controller or specifically piano/organ/key-specific samples?

I have no idea, I'm a huge noob at this, plus, I won't even be doing it myself. I'm just trying to get an understanding of it so we can make the best choices about what we'll need and what to expect.

Are there any good websites with resources about basic synth/keys stuff. Not really about how to play it, but basic gear and what each thing does, because based on your question... I'm now confused on what I thought samples were haha. I'd love to get my vocabularly and understanding straight on what goes into the rig of the band member titled "keyboard" ya know?
Quote by Strato-Massacre
yeah you shouldnt have told the pit to rape your mom.

Quote by Kensai
It's not sexist, girls are just too stupid and weak to hold up doors and stuff for themselves.
#16
Quote by Lt.DanHasLegs
I have no idea, I'm a huge noob at this, plus, I won't even be doing it myself. I'm just trying to get an understanding of it so we can make the best choices about what we'll need and what to expect.

Are there any good websites with resources about basic synth/keys stuff. Not really about how to play it, but basic gear and what each thing does, because based on your question... I'm now confused on what I thought samples were haha. I'd love to get my vocabularly and understanding straight on what goes into the rig of the band member titled "keyboard" ya know?


Well I know some terms, but the terminology is something you best learn at messageboards about synthesizing. And I only know a dutch one so that won't help.

Anyway, everything in keyboards is technically "a sample". Though I often avoid confusion by calling the sounds my keyboards produce "patches", and samples is a term I use for little soundbites that you can cut from other recordings.

But I still don't have a correct picture of your band. Maybe you can PM me for contatc info, and I could mail you about it and stuff.