Help choosing a keyboard/synth?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by atari1356, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. atari1356 macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2004
    I'm thinking about getting a professional keyboard soon and could use some help deciding what to get...

    Ideally I'd like 88 keys with a really great piano sound and a good diverse set of other sounds. If it had built in sampling capabilities - or some way of expanding the sound library that would be great too. Built in sequencing/audio recording capabilities aren't that important to me - as I'll be using it with a Mac to do that part. I'd like to stick to something around $1500 or less.

    I really like the Roland Juno-G, but it's only 61 keys. I'd probably jump on it if they had an 88 key version.

    The Roland Fantom-X8 seems awesome - but I don't want to spend that much money.

    I was tempted by the Alesis Fusion 8HD because the price is so cheap now for what you get - but it seems they are either out of business or going out of business? So, if something went wrong with the keyboard I think customer support would be an issue. Also, from what I've heard so far I don't think the sounds are as good as the Roland.

    What other keyboards should I consider? Would I be okay with just a 61 key model?
  2. scottlinux macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2005
    Some of my random thoughts:

    I like Roland or Yamahas for their key action. Yamaha S90 is perhaps one of the most popular piano sound/controllers right now, though pricey.

    M-audio is not so good as their keyboards have poor action, and are a poor level of quality compared to others.
  3. butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

    Oct 17, 2007
    Camp Snoopy
    Dunno, man, I think M-Audios are plenty good. They have really good sampled sounds, but don't have speakers built-in (for some, that's bound to be a non-issue anyway). I don't much like Yamahas, though. Never have and never really will. The feel just fades away quick on their traditional pianos; if that's any indication, it can't bode well for their keyboards.
  4. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    Diversity of onboard sounds is important if you'll be using it often while away from the Mac. Otherwise, let your Mac's sequencing/DAW app make the sounds with software synthesizers. I wouldn't worry much about sampling capabilities, either. You can purchase sampling plug-ins for many DAW applications that easily rival hardware samplers.

    I agree that the Juno-G is a nice board, especially for the price (I'm a big Roland fan--I have an XP-10 and a JV-880). Have you looked at other Fantoms? The x7 is 76 keys and has many of the x8's features at a somewhat lower price.

    You could pick up a used D-70 for much cheaper, though.
  5. Avatar74 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    Have you taken a look at any Kurzweil controllers?

    For a while, they were the "gold standard" in weighted 88-key controllers... coming about as close to a real piano hammer action as you could get.

    If what you want is a great feel keyboard, don't buy a synthesizer... get a standalone controller and expand its capabilities via MIDI hardware and/or softsynths.

    I have a Korg Triton 61-key non-weighted, but it has a solid feel that I've grown accustomed to and adapted my playing style toward so that I can get faster response than out of a traditional keyboard without the crummy feel of a cheap Fatar controller. Later Korg models, like the Korg Triton LE and Korg Karma sucked.. with a key action that feels cheap and springy like a Playskool toy.

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