The thread started here
What keyboard are you using?
The thread started here
Collection of free VST (instruments & effects)
Just my old junk from back in the day (DX7, D-50, Mirage) and a few M-Audios. I’m not picky. I can’t commit to specific fancy controllers because at a gig I don’t know what I’m going to get; I have to stay generic.
I use a pair of M-Audio Axiom 61 1st gens. Also have a 76 key Roland XP-80. I prefer the action of the Fatar TP/9 in the Axioms. The Axioms are well constructed for their price range and easy to source parts for and repair if needed.
Old Kurzweil 2600 SX with a Fatar keybed, no aftertouch when all else is broken it’s the tank. For current setups I use am using a Roland RD2000 with 3 switch key mechanism (helps the piano feel and performance) for Club and Lounge work. My other Rock oriented setup is an Oxygen 88 with an Axiom 61 version one the top tier. The 2 M-Audio boards both gave trouble one on the keybed contacts but I repaired them in my shop and maintain then pretty well. I also use the wonderful VeloScaler plugin from CodeFN42 to tweak a few wild notes on the Oxygen 88. All these keyboards have held up well considering their usage and for some their age …
Studiologic SL 88 and the SL Mixface - used for handling piano and organ only, I don’t use it for any synth sounds (I might if I at some point figure out how to work with the sounds on a synth ).
I have a Arturia KeyLab 25, but don’t use it much. Bought it to have a spare set of keys for playing piano and organ at the same time, but I mostly just split the keyboard.
Yamaha Montage 7 and Korg Kronos, partially because I don’t want to rely wholly on a software only setup, so my Cantabile setup is augmenting two fantastic synths - probably the last ones I ever buy. They give me two very good keyboards (I grew up on the Yamaha semi-weighted feel) with plenty of control options on both. Oh, and I keep my feet busy with a Roland FC300 MIDI foot controller.
Arturia Keylab 88. Pretty happy with it. But the day they make an MKII version with the same layout as the 61 I’ll buy that - I prefer the pads to the left instead of to the rights…
Novation sl61 mk2.
sometimes thinking of akai mpk261 as my next keyboard (a little bit stiffer than novation)
Alto Live 88 for its keys and wheels, and Roland A-800Pro for its controllers.
Roland RD-2000 because of its great keybed for piano. Novation SL49 MKIi for synth (and organ). I had a Korg Kronos 73 (gen 1). Loved it, but had some mechanical faults, and I decided to go software for the most.
If I’m in Rick Wakeman mode, then I use a Kurz PC88, a Nektar LX88, and a Samson Graphite 49. I’ve found that with Cantabile I can do it with just one controller now, so I use just the Nektar LX88 most of the time. It’s a really good keyboard.
Studiologic VMK88 Plus with a lot of controllers (slides, knobs and buttons) and Oberheim MC1000 76keys.
Studiologic Numa Compact 2x.
MAudio Oxygen88 as the main controller and my Triton extreme for the odd patch.
Studiologic SL88, Akai MPK261 and a Tec Breath and Byte controller.
I wanted a reasonable priced keyboard that could be a backup as relying on a software only system was not something I was comfortable with, so I settled on a Korg Kross 2. While not the greatest keyboard in the world, for a very reasonable price, it has some really good sounds and is a great backup to get me through a gig if software failure rears it’s ugly head. It’s got a nice keybed for piano and is reasonable enough if you had to play organ on it, you could. I also have a Code 49, but I am on the hunt for it’s successor, as I have the same issue as others with many stuck notes. I have temporarily removed the aftertouch ribbon, but that is a temporary solution. I am looking hard at the Akai MPK249. I also have a Nektar Impact LX25+ connected to my MX49 synth via Midi-Ox. The Akai will handle all my patches in C3 but is also doing double duty with my Roland Integra 7 module
Original Korg Wavestation
Kawai K5000s (my favorite Fatar)
Native Instruments S-49 mk2 (A nice and light semi-weighted feel)
Native Instruments S-88 mk1 weighted (A very nice Fatar to my fingers)
Akai MPK249 (A tremendously rich controller pallett with a medium-heavy semi-weighted feel and amazing pads X 16)
Akai MPK225 (Nice feel like above with half the controller elements X 3 banks & 4 banks of the 8 pads - this unit is mostly used to trigger arpeggiators)
Alesis QX49 (cheap and spongy compared with the rest but definitely playable when no aftertouch is needed)
Korg Poly800 used as a controller (no aftertouch - gotta use the guitar-strap nodules someday!)
I hope I didn’t forget any…
(I welcome questions about any of them!)
Main Keyboard (mostly piano/ EP):
- Kurzweil PC3 / PC3K - great keybed with aftertouch, love them!
- Studiologic SL88 Grand - great piano keys, a bit less glissando-friendly than the Kurz (gives me blisters when I’m too enthusiastic with my final down-slides)
Upper Keyboard (mostly synth / organ):
- Alesis VI49 - lots of pads, pots and buttons, great as command center, unfortunately prone to freezing like the Code 49. Looking to replace one of them (I have three, one for each rehearsal room, one for live) - I’m somewhere between Keylab 49 mk2 and MPK 249 in my thinking
I have 2. My main is my Roli Rise 49 Seaboard. My other is a cheap Masterkey 49. I will be upgrading soon to an 88 key with better weighted keys. But needs to be portable.
M-audio Keystation Pro 88 in home studio, good action and lots of knobs and sliders, but too heavy and no backup sounds for gigs. There I’m trying a Kurzweil SP6 with a couple of Nanokontrol 2s for drawbars and a VMeter velcro’d on - lightweight, good backup sounds and I can live with the action playing live.