Crossroads - C3 with Kronos or VSTs with Viscount Physis Piano K4 EX

For the last months I saved money with the idea of buying a Kronos (I’ll still have to save a lot) but with C3 and all these wonderful VSTs (DIVA, Repro, VB3, Korg Legacy Collection, …) I get increasingly uncertain wether the Kronos will do so much more for this amount of money I’ll have to buy it for?
The alternative is to buy a really sophisticated masterkeyboard which is easy to use and has a load of controllers. Today I came across the Viscount Physis Piano K4 EX (88 keys). It seems to be my perfect beast but: can someone tell me wether it really is? Does anybody know it or own this Masterkeyboard?
Hoping for helpful advice :slight_smile:
Best regards
Christoph

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I have a Kronos61. I think that nowadays VST are much more powerful. Recently I got impression that weighted keys are better if you play piano simulations and I bought a Studiologic SL73. I think it is perfect for that.
There are many possible 88 keys solutions.
If you need many faders and buttons there is Arturia, or Native.
Why spending money on a “workstation” if those sounds will get worse than VST in some months? Or already are…
Diva as analog cannot be beaten.
There are wonderful piano simulations…

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I have a Kronos 88 - the original one, it’s 8-9 years old now and still going strong. Wonderful thing. But I’ve moved to Cantabile and VSTs - started the transition 3 years ago. My back is happy.

Keeping the Kronos though - it’s a great beast and I what I can get for it if I sell it … it’s not worth selling.

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Hi Cologne,
I am not sure if you have already bought the Kronos.
If you have, it is a great keyboard, but I am not sure about the audio interface on it. It is always good to have a hardware available (keyboard or module) if you are a gigging musician.

I decided to purchase the Montage because I was very interested in seamlessly integrating my VSTi with my hardware keyboard, without having to tote around an audio interface. The Montage has done an above average job at this. Nevertheless, the weaknesses of the Montage sounds were those stellar Omnisphere pads and a decent B3 organ. So I seamlessly integrate Omnisphere and IKmm B3-X with all of the great sounds on my Montage. In hindsight, the Fantom may have been a better choice, as it came out after the Montage, but the audio interface (if it is the old roland audio interface/Edirol, I don’t like that interface). The Montage has an awesome Steinberg audio interface on board that kills it and his hugely compatible across all platforms.

The Viscount Physis Piano K4 EX looks cool, but has no audio interface inside it. So you will have to bring along another device (an audio interface). I don’t have to worry about that with the Montage.

Just my opinion.

John

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Hi Howifeel,
thanks for your post. I own an MOXF and I know about the advantyges of integrated audio-interfaces :slight_smile:
One question: how can you integrate your VSTs into the Montage? Is the result really satisfying? I can imagine how to integrate an organ sample into the Montage, but what’s about e.g. variable rotary- or overdrive-effects?
Regards :slight_smile:
Christoph

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You are in GREAT shape, then. You have your hardware synth, your controller and your audio interface all in that MOXF! Connect to your laptop, open C3, load your favorite VSTi’s, point C3’s audio out to the Steinberg Yamaha Audio driver you should have installed (for MIDI and audio). Choose a part on the MOXF and mute it, that will be the MIDI channel (one of them) that will control your VSTi in C3, and will prevent the MOXF from sounding on that part over top of C3. All of your hardware and VSTi sounds come out of you MOXF Right and Left output.

But wait! There’s more! If you connect a controller 5 pin MIDI out to the MOXF MIDI in, it will pass I/O MIDI control to C3 via MOXF USB, as well on Port 3. Therefore, the MOXF is a controller, a MIDI hub, and audio interface, all sound of all controllers, hardware and software synthetic to the MOXF right and left main output.

Here is part of it explained.

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I can confirm.
I have a Montage 7 and the internal audio board is perfect. Such as keybed.
Kronos cannot help with that.

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Hey Christoph,

spec-wise, the Viscout Physis looks very good. It has the Fatar TP/40L keybed, which is my absolute favorite (same as in my Kurzweil PC3 boards) and tons of connections (8 MIDI outputs :hushed:!, 8 pedal connectors…), as well as faders, buttons, pots, and THREE wheels. Plus, it’s blue :grin:

Of course, due to the good keyboard, it has a hefty weight (~20 kg), but that comes with the territory - unless you go for the TP/100, which is more light-weight, but also a lot “flimsier” in build quality and feel (check out the Arturia Keylab 88 mkii)

So I imagine it would be a great Cantabile controller, if you want something piano-ish but versatile.

I haven’t had it under my fingers yet, so can’t speak about build quality and overall feel. Unfortunately, it’s not available at our friendly neighbourhood music dealer, so no easy way to test in real life…

Cheers,

Torsten

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I don’t mind the feel of the TP/100 in the Arturia and I’ve definitely got to an age where the weight of a keyboard for gigging is a big factor…

Just my 2 penneth…

P

Exactly why I went to lighter keyboards early last year. I sacrificed weighted keys, heavy stands, and bulky amps, just to save my back and legs. 54 yrs of hauling, and moving huge PAs, Hammonds, Leslies, Amps and other gear has taken it’s toll. I have learned how to adjust, because most gigs are not worth a Marshall stack, or a Real Hammond. By doing so, I am also saving wear and tear on my “premier” gear for use in gigs worthy of their use. With a few keyboard, and vst adjustments, I adapted my playing style to fit the situation, much like gigging on a house piano or organ, and playing with a borrowed guitar. Improv comes in many forms. This is why guitarists older than I have moved to smaller combo amps, lighter guitars, and small pedal boards. Same goes for drummers I know…no more Neil Peart setups.

Fortunately, VSTs and Cantabile gave us aging gig whores a second chance to use our skills, and not worry about impressions of others drooling over our massive “golden” stack of keyboards and gear. My music, hopefully, is the ultimate impression.

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I’m still a fence sitter when it comes to my keyboard rig. My “controllers” are a Montage 7 and Kronos X 61, coupled with my NUC PC in my gig rack (with Cantabile and VSTs) it gives me the best of both worlds. I was looking for a 76 key controller option instead of Montage but this now seems to be a market gap and the Montage gives me the keyboard bed I am used to (EX5 and SY99 like) and an excellent synth to boot that is a very good controller for Cantabile. A bit extravagant (but I am worth it).

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A little reply John, you can set the Kronos to act as a perfect audio interface. my own one is used as a summing mixer from all other sources connected to its audio input and the output transmits both Kronos sounds and the sounds from the MAC/PC. Reliability speaking, never had a single problem.
Sure the weight makes a BIG difference. I do prefer gigging with smaller and lighter keyboards.

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Just a question…
Kronos used as an audio board connected via USB to computer? Korg never released an audio link or ASIO.
How you got that?

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Yeah, I use the Montage 7 as a controller, midi hub and audio interface. SL88 is my bottom tier controller. Lightweight and very versitile. My drawbars are the SL Mixface, a wonderful little gem that integrates with the SL88. So I have the best of all worlds (hardware, VSTi, and control). Now, I just need to learn how to play keyboards.

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That is good information @fuztec25! I wasn’t sure about the audio interface on the Kronos, because I saw complaints about it. Most likely the user lacking the knowledge required to use it properly. Thanks for the info! I have a great setup, but I still want a Kronos (mainly for the Radias engine in it).

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Being a Kronos 88 user from the early start (2012 or so), i have been very happy with that and gigged with the 30+kg beast…
But with Cantabile and so many nice VST’s (Pianoteq, Keyscape, Omnisphere, Hive, Dune, Serum, Diva, IKM B-3X, Xpand! are my main ones) i have converted everything in my gigs to play with this. I use Kronos as a master keyboard (…, but also as a backup during gigging - never needed it luckily until now), without using its sounds, plus an additional Nektar88 controller.

Kronos has by the way only a 32bit connection to the pc. So if you are using a 64bit DAW, it does not really connect well (triggering sounds on the Kronos that is). Using the audio outputs of Kronos into an audio interface connecting to Cantabile and any DAW works fine obviously

If I were in your shoes, I would not go the Kronos route, but rather invest in several nice VST’s and Cantabile…

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