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Your favorite affordable piano modules (hardware-only, please)
Old 30th January 2013
  #1
Gear Addict
 
99zulu's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Your favorite affordable piano modules (hardware-only, please)

Hey, I'm planning to hit the road and am looking for your favorite hardware boxes for pianos. I have some old Alesis Q stuff but honestly am not a huge fan of those pianos, too bright for me. I've been using Kontakt products for recording, but I want something I can rack up and play on the road.

Would be nice to come in under $300 used, but beggars can't be choosers, right?

I've looked at Motif Racks but it seems tough to score them for under $600 on the 'bay.

What are you guys liking? Rackable, please...I don't need another keybed. Older gear doesn't bother me, I just want reasonably believable sounds that I can enjoy playing without paying an arm and a leg.
Old 31st January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
Nord? Korg M3?
Old 31st January 2013
  #3
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ionian's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Hands down, the Kurzweil MicroPiano. That thing still sounds fantastic.

Cheap enough to buy two. In fact you can chain two for double the polyphony. They're pretty solid and half rack size.

Regards,
Frank
Old 31st January 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 
lowkey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
K2000 is pretty good too...
Old 31st January 2013
  #5
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audiohack's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Kurzweil pc2r. It's more than your budget but they can be found for less than $500. I picked one up for $450 with the orchestral rom. It's packed with a lot of great sounds in a 1u rack.
Old 31st January 2013
  #6
Deleted 8456dd3
Guest
The Yamaha PSR range are absolute sleepers.
Killer piano sounds, used by all the big techno artists in the 90's.
Drums are just sic***kk bro, for real. I use it on all my IDM/EDM music and stuff.
Dont tell everyone though dont want to drive the prices up.

Old 7th February 2013 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Addict
 
99zulu's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian ➑️
Hands down, the Kurzweil MicroPiano. That thing still sounds fantastic.

Cheap enough to buy two. In fact you can chain two for double the polyphony. They're pretty solid and half rack size.

Regards,
Frank
Thanks for all the responses. I hate no idea you could chain the MicroPiano but it was definitely on my list.

The PSR? Either you have one for sale, or...

Hmm.
Old 8th February 2013 | Show parent
  #8
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ionian's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 99zulu ➑️
Thanks for all the responses. I hate no idea you could chain the MicroPiano but it was definitely on my list.
Hmm.
Yeah, definitely. It has a setting that says either "even" or "odd" and that is in relation to the midi note numbers. So if you have two you set one to respond to the even midi numbers and one set to the odd numbers and you can double the polyphony that way.

Great module...

Regards,
Frank
Old 8th February 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Roland JV1010 has the Session board built in, and that has a great piano.
Old 8th February 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Although I have Ivory for piano sounds (and a Kurzweil 150 for those ethereal pianos), I still cling to my trusty Yamaha P50-m module, just for that stunning CP-80 patch. Amazing!
The other pianos are good, too.

Cheers,
Bert
Old 8th February 2013
  #11
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Another +1 for Micropiano...and if you want the KB3 organ mode you can get the PC2R...
Old 8th February 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Kurzweil 1000PX is a step above Micropiano with more bread-n-butter sounds for about the same price.
Old 12th February 2013
  #13
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99zulu's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
A step above in what ways?
Old 26th February 2013 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 99zulu ➑️
A step above in what ways?
Brass, reeds, acoustic/electric bass, acoustic/electric guitar, flutes, percussion, vibes/marimba, choirs. Far more comprehensive MIDI implementation. No wall-wart.

The one thing the MP wins is DSP FX. 1000PX has FX but they are not DSP (no reverb), FX are limited to echo, chorus, leslie, vibrato, tremolo, phaser and they consume voices. External FX sounds much better.
Old 26th February 2013 | Show parent
  #15
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d1rtynyc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If you wanted a Kurzweil Micro Piano.....

I just saw on Guitar Center's site they have a used one for $70
Guitar Center

Search: Kurzweil Micro, it will come right up.

They also have a KURZWEIL 1000SX for $50
Old 27th February 2013
  #16
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99zulu's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks!
Old 27th February 2013
  #17
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ooohhh2's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
My secret weapon: GEM RP-X module. I don't know if you can get it in your country, because the company actually went bankrupt, but here n Germany it's still available via www.musicstore.de, I believe they ship overseas too.
This is the best piano module i know hands down, its sound is up there with the best, even if it's quite old now.

Sent from my GT-I9000
Old 27th February 2013
  #18
Gear Addict
 
Releaux's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Another +1 here for the Kurzweil MicroPiano. It's still in my rack (though I default to the K2600 Stereo Dynamic Piano now) and I continue to use it. I totally forgot about the chaining ability...

Piano romplers can really be a personal choice... I've never clicked any of the Roland or Korg ones, except for very specific mix needs. The Kurzweils just seem to have a presence, warmth, and tone that I really like.
Old 8th November 2013
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Kurzweil MicroPiano seriously ? i never herad it i admit but its from 1994 ! Its 20 years old sampling technology ! How could it sound better than today's ROMplers and workstation racks that have 1GB of RAM... And what about modeling pianos like Roland V-piano (unfortunately not in a rack)... I know MicroPiano has a legendary status but this stuff is not analog synths... its digital samples from 1994 (i would guess a whopping 8 MB of them)...

Its November 2013 what would you recommend to get really good acoustic pianos in a rack or 1/2 rack box.

I hear GEM RP-X is good but i listened to demos and although its impressive i dont particulary like the piano timbre and ambiance...

I listened to

Yamaha Motif Rack XS - liked the grand more
Roland Fantom Rack XR - liked the grand less

and they sound very sophisticated but again its that "workstation" sounding piano - the manufacturers had to focus on another 1000 sound patches and what not... i feel iam not getting the best piano hardware can do today... its just the ubiquitous acoustic grand patch that has to be on every serious workstation...

i would love to get stuff like Roland V-Piano - a one trick pony for acoustic pianos - with great attention to detail and latest sampling/modeling technology... unfortunatelly they mostly built these things into big digital pianos and keyboards and not portable rack boxes.

Is there any DEDICATED acoustic piano box for 2013 ? i seriously dont believe 20 years old Kurzweil MicroPiano is the best there is today
Old 8th November 2013 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mizpulyn ➑️
Is there any DEDICATED acoustic piano box for 2013 ? i seriously dont believe 20 years old Kurzweil MicroPiano is the best there is today
All you see are specs. You can't hear specs. Kurzweil pianos still work for a REASON.

Moogs are 40 year old technology too, still does its job well.

Fender tweed amp from the 1950s are 60 year old technology, still does the job well.

Saxophones is 100+ year old technology.

Just because it's modern doesn't mean it is better...
Old 8th November 2013 | Show parent
  #21
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adydub's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mizpulyn ➑️
Is there any DEDICATED acoustic piano box for 2013 ? i seriously dont believe 20 years old Kurzweil MicroPiano is the best there is today
There's probably not a massive market for a stand alone piano rack/box in this day and age.

If your playing regular gigs heavily centred on the piano, you'll probably have a stage piano with a nice weighted keyed from Nord or one of the big Japanese 3.

If piano isn't so central, a romper based solution is far more versatile - something like the Integra 7.

If your in the studio, or don't mind using your laptop live (or maybe a Receptor), there's a some great sounding plugins. An old, cheap laptop running something like TruePianos would probably give you best bang for the buck.

There's not really enough demand for a dedicated piano module to make manufacturing one economically viable any more.
Old 8th November 2013
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
to The Real MC - common man comparing samples to analog gear ? You are joking right i specifically said in my post that old digital sampling technologies are not the same as old analog synths... old women are not the same as old wine... i actualy own a nice collection of old analog synths from 70s so you dont have to tell me whats is this about... but MicroPiano is a PCM digital samples in inferior sample rate and length with tiny loop segments runing through 16-bit DAC... its like saying SoundBlaster AWE 32 sound fonts really still sounds good for A REASON and there is no reason to buy Ivory and EWQL Pianos and Lavry AD-DA converters...
Old 8th November 2013
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
to adydub - yes Roland Integra 7 is probably the ideal solution sound-wise but it costs 1200 GBP (2000 USD), weights 4 kg and is a big motherf*cker...

i guess there is probably no competing product on the market like GEM RP-X (which is btw. discontinued for some time so ebay only)


GEM RP-X
Old 8th November 2013 | Show parent
  #24
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DJRAZZ's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiohack ➑️
Kurzweil pc2r. It's more than your budget but they can be found for less than $500. I picked one up for $450 with the orchestral rom. It's packed with a lot of great sounds in a 1u rack.
+1 on the PC2R. I would stay away from the Micropiano, not a PC88 but an SP88/76 piano in a box. The Motif rack is a beast to edit. The Fantom XR is great but may be hard to find in your price range. I have heard good things about the Nord and it may be worth the price for it is a focused on piano only type box. Kawai may have a box as well as Emu.

Just my opinion...
Old 8th November 2013
  #25
Lives for gear
 
AnalogGuy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If you can find cheap enough in second hand:

Roland XV-5050 + Complete piano SRX expansion.
Old 8th November 2013 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mizpulyn ➑️
to The Real MC - common man comparing samples to analog gear ? You are joking right i specifically said in my post that old digital sampling technologies are not the same as old analog synths... old women are not the same as old wine... i actualy own a nice collection of old analog synths from 70s so you dont have to tell me whats is this about... but MicroPiano is a PCM digital samples in inferior sample rate and length with tiny loop segments runing through 16-bit DAC... its like saying SoundBlaster AWE 32 sound fonts really still sounds good for A REASON and there is no reason to buy Ivory and EWQL Pianos and Lavry AD-DA converters...
And I said specifically it ain't about the technology
Old 8th November 2013
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Yeah, I mean you could argue why use a tack piano when there is a Steinway in the studio next door?

Depends on what kind of sound you want, and what you want to play. There is definitely something about those early sampled piano's - the M1 being an infamous example. But for a while there was a tradition of extracting the best possible sound with limited resources and this often lead to a sound that sat well in a mix, was 'compact', and blended well on stage.

Something that was a step above what would become 'pop piano' on later ROMplers - basically the over compressed cutting sound that the M1 and early samplers captured, but obviously short of a multi-velocity layered multi sampled concert grand - the sound of which is not always desirable.

I think some of those early units find that happy medium.
Old 8th November 2013
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Marzzz's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Korg SG Rack might work well. Decent for piano, about $150-200 on eBay these days. I had one back when and liked how it played.
Old 17th November 2013
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
modern 1/2 rack piano modules are scarce, 1U rack modules have a very decent choice of modules as others posted here... i played Yamaha MOXF6 keyboard the other day and the pianos are very nice and a wide range of timbres and ambiances to fit in your mix and style (grand, pop, blues, rock, different mic positions, etc.) unfortunately there is no rack version of Motif XF that these samples come from... the current Motif XS rack is few years old and has 1/2 the waveforms missing some great sampled pianos... i think i will try that GEM RP-X and if its not good enough ill try some of the 1U racks ROMplers from 2000-2010...
Old 23rd August 2014
  #30
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
GeneralMusic RealPiano

These are hard to find nowadays, but they sound very good:

GeneralMusic RealPiano Expander

They were some of the first to use physical modeling.
Once in a while you will find one on ebay. I got mine for $250 but
the LCD is broke on the front panel. It sounds OK, you just use this
one for piano only pretty much.

GeneralMusic made another module later, the RP-X, but those are about impossible
to find.
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