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Hi everybody!

 

I have worked for years in the analog/real instrument music production field and I'm a kind of new to the sampling/digital music world.

As I wish to start with the best possible equipment, I'm searching for a workstation/arranger keyboard around 1000€ and I have reached so far the powerful Casio MZ-X500 but unfortunately I got that it seems not having an important feature I need.

 

In this case I ask for your recommendations on:

 

A keyboard with all the features of MZ-X500 PLUS having a high quality INTERNAL AUDIO INTERFACE wichh is CAPABLE of transmiting everything being played (or already recorded in the machine) in SEPARATED lines as Audio and MIDI data directly to the DAW in form of a complete project.

 

* By everything I mean:

.  What I play by left and right hand and on the PADS in seperated lines as Audio/Midi.

. The drum/percussion with all its sounds in seperated lines as Audio/Midi. (bass, snare, high hat, crash etc.)

. The accompaniment with all of its sounds in seperated lines as Audio/Midi. (bass, piani, string etc.)

 

Well I know it may seems like a dream wish, but if it is so please wake me up! and let me know what would be the closest thing to this dream around 1000€.

 

If the MZ-X500 can do some of these functions by doing some tricks, please let me know.

 

P.S: I have looked into Roland FA-06 and it seems it has those functions MINUS the great feature of automatic accompaniment. 
Of course it has the drum styles with intro/fills in/einding options, but it has no full accompaniments with chords able to play by one/three finger. If it's possible to make our own (or to download others self-made) full accompaniment styles and play chrods along them in like MZ accompaniments in FA-06, please let me know.

 

Many thanks in advance

Nick

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Essentially, you want an arranger keyboard. It has to be an arranger because nothing else besides home keyboards will give you auto-accompaniement (and some strange in-between keyboards like the PX-560). For that price or near, besides the MZ-X500 I can think only of Korg PA-600 or PA-700. But I don't think they can do what you want wrt MIDI output to a DAW. (Admittedly I haven't poured over their manuals to find out.) Do ANY arrangers do that? 

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6 minutes ago, AlenK said:

Essentially, you want an arranger keyboard...

Alenk thaks a lot for your advice!

Yes that's the question if any Workstation+Arranger has internal audio interface sending both audio/midi data to daw in separated lines. And the problem is that the Studio Workstation side is really important to me, even more than live performing. Plus I need the pads, internal sequencing and recording of midi and audio (mic/guitar) option etc. 

 

So do you know if I leave the accompaniment option and get a Roland FA-06 (or some other workstation in this class that you may know) is there any way to set up my own accompaniment and use them in a live performance?

(The good thing is that it has built in drum styles/ the sad thing it has no automatic accompanement and also has no touchscreen 😞)

 

Thanks again!

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Nick

 

What you describe as a DAW/Workstation performance relationship is known as "close (or tight) integration".  The most recent Roland/Yamaha hardware devices that support this are:

 

the Roland Fantom series (now discontinued)

the current Roland FA Series

the Yamaha Motif Series (now discontinued)

the current Yamaha MOXF Series

the current Yamaha Montage

 

While any of the above devices allow you to pre-arrange backing tracks with preset drum and arppegio patterns that can be set to follow left-hand chord play, they are not real-time arrangers, in the fullest sense, with fully orchestrated auto-accompaniment.  Casio does not currently offer anything that fits into the close-integration field, but perhaps future releases in the XW, PX, and MZ-X lines will be a step in that direction.

 

In recent years, Roland has drawn back from the full-featured high-end professional arranger-workstation market, and Yamaha's only offerings that would come anywhere near to close-DAW integration capabilities are the recently discontinued Tyros-5 and the recently released Genos, but both of these devices run in the $5000 - $6000 USD range, and as "arrangers", their DAW integration is still limited, compared to that of the Fantom, FA, Motif, MOXF devices.

 

I am sorry I can not discuss the Korg lines, but I lack experience with their lines.  I would say the the PA-4X and the recently released PA-1000 might bear looking at, but I assume you would still have the same problem.  As Alen has already stated, there still exists a strong dichotomy between how manufacturers see the professional non-arranger (ROMpler) music production market and the home/amateur/professional music entertainment market.  Over on the PSR-Tutorial Forum there are currently several very heated discussions in progress of the recently released Genos (arranger) workstation and its continued lack of some of the finer features of the top-end non-arranger models that make them the successful music production tools that they are, with close DAW integration being one of those features.  It seems that recently included features are more of a DJ-groovebox nature than of a true studio music production nature.  At this point, I am afraid that exactly what you are looking for still does not quite exist, so I think that you are going to find that some serious compromises are going to be necessary.  I wish you all the luck in making the correct ones.

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1 hour ago, tnicoson said:

Nick

 

What you describe as a DAW/Workstation performance relationship is known as "close (or tight) integration".... 

Tnicoson

 

Thanks a lot for your detailed answer. So it seems that I have guessed right; I'm a dreamer!

Well,I hope this dream will come true, because I think these are not too much sophesticated features that manufactures CAN'T put them in mid rane price keyboards. It seems that they don't want to do it to keep the market thirsty and assure their money making machine working for a long long time!

But I'm sure some day these features will be known as initial options in workstations/arrangers.

 

Thanks again and best wishes for you

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6 minutes ago, XW-Addict said:

Nick Rastin are you also on Korg Forums?.

XW-Addict

 

No, I have not been on Korg forums, but I guess I should go to some of them to ask the same questions. Do you probobly know which Korg forum is the most active one?

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7 minutes ago, Nick Rastin said:

XW-Addict

 

No, I have not been on Korg forums, but I guess I should go to some of them to ask the same questions. Do you probobly know which Korg forum is the most active one?

What instrument has you're interest and which genre do you prefer to play. 

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52 minutes ago, XW-Addict said:

What instrument has you're interest and which genre do you prefer to play. 

My main instrument is the guitar/ electric guitar. I also play some traditional instruments of my country. My focus is mostly on fusion music, a mixture of rock/progressive rock and middle eastern music. I'm not a keyboard player, but I can work with it to create songs and with some practice I can also play some stuffs in live performances.

 

My main purpose to find such a workstation/arranger is to be able to edit every single sound/note that I play at studio or live, while I'm not a profi kerboard player. Plus I rather to create the songs in a workstation for not being forced to turn on my PC every time or bring it everywjere. I would use pc/daw only for final editing, as I don't like to use mouse to create the whole song, to add notes, control vst plugins etc. 

 

 

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On 5-11-2017 at 11:42 PM, Nick Rastin said:

My main instrument is the guitar/ electric guitar. I also play some traditional instruments of my country. My focus is mostly on fusion music, a mixture of rock/progressive rock and middle eastern music. I'm not a keyboard player, but I can work with it to create songs and with some practice I can also play some stuffs in live performances.

 

My main purpose to find such a workstation/arranger is to be able to edit every single sound/note that I play at studio or live, while I'm not a profi kerboard player. Plus I rather to create the songs in a workstation for not being forced to turn on my PC every time or bring it everywjere. I would use pc/daw only for final editing, as I don't like to use mouse to create the whole song, to add notes, control vst plugins etc. 

 

 

I'm a bit late on reacting had some internet issue's. But I can read you already have studio experience so it should be easy to find the right keyboard 

You've ask for accompaniment , sequencer  and a sampler as you're a guitar player recording riffs and using it in you're song either trigger from the

pads or sequencer. You're choice of DAW lets you do what you want and as you are proficient in that also. Still you're choice and time with making it happen. 

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You can get a used (in excellent conditions ) Roland FA 08 for ~$1200 or FA 06 for ~900. Which is not arranger at all, but it is a real workstation.

 

MOXF 08 and 06 at the same price range as FA.

 

Korg Krome provides the same level as FA and MOXF.

 

If you care only about quality and price (and do not need a piano keyboard) look at used Korg Kronos 06 (that would above your badget).

 

For arranges all Korg PA line  is great or Roland BK 3 through 9.

 

Yamaha MOTIF XS rack another good option as an arranger and as a workstation.

 

etc...

 

As a sampler -  Roland SP-404SX can be a stand-alone solution.

 

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FA-06, MOXF6, Krome 61, Kross 61 and MX-49/61 (to add three other low-cost workstation models) all have fairly crappy keyboard actions, IMO. Yes, worse than MZ-X models, again IMO. I tried them all in a local music store (with a well-stocked keyboard department but no Casios).

 

The reasons varied from shorter-than-normal keys, narrower-than-normal key pitch, shallower-than-normal travel, light easily-bent keys and worst of all the hinge point too close to the visible start of the key exiting the case, which means the same velocity results in different volumes from black keys than from white keys (because the former are significantly shorter). Some keyboards suffered from more than one of the problems described above. 

 

The Kronos keyboard feels very nice, as one would expect for the price. It used to be that even lower-cost boards had good keyboard actions. For example, my Roland D-10 from 1988 feels nicer than any of the keyboards I named above (apart from the Kronos, which is superior) while not as nice as the D-50, which was at that time the top model. Not anymore. You have to buy a top-of-the-line model or the next one down, usually. For instance in the Roland line the J50 and J80 have great feeling actions.

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Unfortunately one the instruments that came closer than all of these was the old Generalmusic SK76/SK760 series which are now very rare. had mine not been still working, I would definitely still have it.

 

It was closest to being a true hybrid auto-arranger and full workstation I've ever owned. Not only did this have a full 76-or 88 key keyboard with fully programmable auto-accompaniments which could be controlled with its own sliders in real time, to isolate each sound or change just about anything in real time such as panning and effects with a full 32-track sequencer-it also had separate audio outputs programmable for each sound-like some of the Ensoniqs you could send one individual sound to its own audio output.

 

As many Casios now do-you could record your full auto-accompaniment and then add 16 more sequencer tracks, and have a sound layered with up to 16 more sounds-and play it live after you had recorded everything else.  You also had the ability to send midi data  through its midi ports for each individual sound to separate midi channels. Plus it was a fully programmable synth and sample editor/player-it imported /wav or other samples and had a full sample editor built-in.

 

The accompaniments were some of the most unusual and interesting I've heard-and it's display screen was huge and backlit. I still have my old Generalmusic Equinox which also  does some of these things but has a small screen and is very "buggy". These were ahead of their time and sadly Generalmusic is no more. Only recently have I seen many of these same features implemented in the Rolands, Yamahas and Korgs. Rarely do these show up on the used market and since there is no support, except for the rare owners on some forums you would be on your own.

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