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Thread: Synthsizer advice needed

  1. #1
    Tree People to the Core! indygeezer's Avatar
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    Default Synthsizer advice needed

    Geezer Jr. has taken piano since he was 5...that's 10 years. He's a very skilled classical pianist but he bores his friends to death, the closest he plays to anything popular would be Josh Groben.

    He is wanting, and the Mrs and I agree, to get a keyboard/synthizer so that he can learn to play and sing more uptempo things. We've looked and are ruling out the big plastic Yamaha things that are nothing more than BIG toys. What we are more looking for is an 88 key (weighted key) keyboard.....actually we need advice. What is good for entry level professional quality? What does he need for keyboards....mic...amp?
    Music is not something he takes lightly...it is a family tradition, we have recording artists in the family going as far back as vaudville....up to today. My sis and a couple of my cousins are recording artists (studio musicians).

    So....who has experience and who has knowledge/advice?


    BTW....One I have looked at is a Yamaha S08 (a quick search brings this one up...I didn't take time to go to Yamaha website)
    http://www.emusicgear.com/ProductDet...roductCode=S08
    If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

  2. #2
    Harmonica
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    Default Re: Synthsizer advice needed

    Get him a classic Hammond B3 organ like the one jazz great Jimmy Smith plays. Then go out and buy him Smith's Organ Grinder Swing or The Sermon.

    Nice mention about it here:

    http://www.vervemusicgroup.com/artist.aspx?aid=2740

    More info about Hammonds:

    http://theatreorgans.com/grounds/



    Model B-3

    Production Years: Jan 1955 to 1974

    Synopsis: The archetype, it is equipped with Hammondchorus/vibrato providing 3 levels of chorus and vibrato, selectable for each manual independently. It is equipped with HammondPercussion. The percussion has four controls: ON/OFF, Volume:NORMAL/SOFT, Decay: SLOW/FAST,
    Harmonic: 2nd/3rd.

    Cabinet Size: With pedal keyboard and bench: 48.75x46x49.5(WHD, inches), 425lbs with bench and pedalboard.

    Finish: Walnut/Cherry

    Manuals: Swell and great, 61 playing keys each.

    Pedals: 25-note radiating detachable pedalboard.

    Controls: 9 preset keys and 2 sets of 9 adjustable harmonic drawbars for each manual. 2adjustable (16' and 8') for pedals.

    Amp/Output: Internal preamp.

    Features: One expression pedal controlling swell, greatan pedals.

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    Tree People to the Core! indygeezer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Synthsizer advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Harmonica
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    Get him a classic Hammond B3 organ like the one jazz great Jimmy Smith plays. Then go out and buy him Smith's Organ Grinder Swing or The Sermon.

    Nice mention about it here:

    http://www.vervemusicgroup.com/artist.aspx?aid=2740

    More info about Hammonds:

    http://theatreorgans.com/grounds/
    Ah.....never thought of that. Fits right in with the Pipe Organ he plays at church.

    Can't seem to find a pix of a hammond B3.....maybe I'll check ebay. Are they still sold new?
    Can one be used for more "pop" or even country?
    If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

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    Tree People to the Core! indygeezer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Synthsizer advice needed




    Quick search of eBay found 3......rrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iight.


    2 were just under 6K and one was asking for a starting bid of $15,000.00


    Just a bit pricey for starting out I fear. Maybe when he starts actually earning money doing this.
    If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

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    Harmonica
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    Default Re: Synthsizer advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer
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    Ah.....never thought of that. Fits right in with the Pipe Organ he plays at church.

    Can't seem to find a pix of a hammond B3.....maybe I'll check ebay. Are they still sold new?
    Can one be used for more "pop" or even country?
    Absolutely. They were used on a lot of pop songs in the late 60s, early 70s. Green-eyed Lady by Sugarloaf and Time of the Season by the Zombies are the ones that readily come to mind. And according to the piece in that first link I posted, it's making a resurgence in popular music today. The second site mentions it in regards to country.

    You can find pics of it if you go to the second site I posted. Click on "Hammond-Leslie FAQ" in the second paragraph. Then click on Hammond-Leslie models. Then click on Hammond models. Then scroll down to Model B3. Right below the specs are links to pictures. It's pretty funky. But if he could master that, he would be a badass.

  6. #6
    Harmonica
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    Default Re: Synthsizer advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer
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    Quick search of eBay found 3......rrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iight.


    2 were just under 6K and one was asking for a starting bid of $15,000.00


    Just a bit pricey for starting out I fear. Maybe when he starts actually earning money doing this.


    Maybe there are newer less expensive Hammond models that will give you a similar sound. I didn't realize they went for that much. But it does have a great sound. You should get him the CDs I mentioned anyway.

    EDIT: Hell, I'll burn them for you. PM me with your address and I'll send them to you this weekend.

  7. #7
    Grumpy Old Man (PD host) able's Avatar
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    Default Re: Synthsizer advice needed

    Hammond organs were used by (among others) most great pop artists, but most "famous" are likely Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake and Palmer/ Nice) John Evans (Jethro Tull) Rick Wakeman (Yes)
    Their specific sound however was given by the "leslie" speakers (with a rotating core) which will set you back a nice sum as well, and imo they simply go together.
    Alternatives are the "electric piano's" from those days, (among them the "honer") used by Stevie Wonder and such.

    Nowadays, your best bet would be a "sampler" meaning you buy a "keyboard" with no realfunction, the machinery on the side makes it what you want, samples can be made, bought or gotten for free and once loaded (one can change even during songs, or destined certain parts of the keyboard to certain samples) the keyboard will sound as the instrument "sampled".

    Korg/ Yamaha, Roland etc are the most "known" brands. (for the samplers)
    the keyboard itself is a matter of preference, you can use any interactive 88 key keyboard.

    The sampler will be ferectly capable of giving you the sound that comes out of the Hammond/Leslie combination as well btw.

    Add to that an amp, and speaker, and the total setup (look on ebay among othes, BUT MOST CERTAINLY go to your local music shop, since they will have "trade in" specials all the time, also professional artists sell their stuff through these shops, would not set you back more then what you WANT to spend, but IMO you should be set anywhere from $ 1,000 to 3,000

    I would visit the store, talk talk talk, listen listen listen and let him play around, they usually have "experienced" people around, certain days you can find a plethora of musicians there very willing to advise you.


    good luck
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    Tree People to the Core! indygeezer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Synthsizer advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by able
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    Hammond organs were used by (among others) most great pop artists, but most "famous" are likely Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake and Palmer/ Nice) John Evans (Jethro Tull) Rick Wakeman (Yes)
    Their specific sound however was given by the "leslie" speakers (with a rotating core) which will set you back a nice sum as well, and imo they simply go together.
    Alternatives are the "electric piano's" from those days, (among them the "honer") used by Stevie Wonder and such.

    Nowadays, your best bet would be a "sampler" meaning you buy a "keyboard" with no realfunction, the machinery on the side makes it what you want, samples can be made, bought or gotten for free and once loaded (one can change even during songs, or destined certain parts of the keyboard to certain samples) the keyboard will sound as the instrument "sampled".

    Korg/ Yamaha, Roland etc are the most "known" brands. (for the samplers)
    the keyboard itself is a matter of preference, you can use any interactive 88 key keyboard.

    The sampler will be ferectly capable of giving you the sound that comes out of the Hammond/Leslie combination as well btw.

    Add to that an amp, and speaker, and the total setup (look on ebay among othes, BUT MOST CERTAINLY go to your local music shop, since they will have "trade in" specials all the time, also professional artists sell their stuff through these shops, would not set you back more then what you WANT to spend, but IMO you should be set anywhere from $ 1,000 to 3,000

    I would visit the store, talk talk talk, listen listen listen and let him play around, they usually have "experienced" people around, certain days you can find a plethora of musicians there very willing to advise you.


    good luck
    Yeah...the last time I took him with me to look...the store ended up having him play on an $89,000.00 9-foot Grand Piano...he hasn't been satisfied since. He loved the action of those extra long keys (who says size doesn't matter).

    Seriously, the local Yamaha dealer had the S08 above and the sounds were great but I would imagine 90% of that is due to the amp/speaker set-up. It is what I assume you mean by a sampler. They have "recorded" the sound from each of the 88 keys from 16 pianos and you can select which to use and then select from other options too.
    I am not at all interested in those "toys" that have the drums etc built in...as Jr. says...might as well just set up a disc player and go have a beer.
    If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

  9. #9
    Grumpy Old Man (PD host) able's Avatar
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    Default Re: Synthsizer advice needed

    A sampler is nothing but a keyboard, with nothing, except action to the keys.
    It is usually a full sized keyboard, but makes no sound on itself.

    Henceforth the keyboard itself is only of importance in facts as "key-action"

    the "sampler" is an electronic box in which you can load disks, or direct, sounds.
    those sounds, be they instruments such as a grand, any particular one, or strings, or guitar, or whatever can be loaded either to a set of keys, or all keys

    Nothing plays by itself, it does not come with preset tunes or rhytms, in fact a rythm box is never included
    The sounds are loaded to "a key" in the correct tune, then spread out over the other indicated keys "in tune", in other words if you load a sample of that 89K piano, you will (providing the samples are perfect) get the exact same sound from the sampler as you did from the grand.
    It is the keyboard that decides on the key-size and action, but as it has NO other function, it is comparible cheap to partly loaded synths etc, of course not comparible to the kiddie toys you are describing

    Amps and Speakers have, due to the limits on the human ear, way to little influence, of course you do not use a guitar amp and speaker, but a piano amp and speaker are perfect, the "key ingredient" is the sampler and they come from 500 to 50K but 2nd hand 1 - 2 K will get you a very good sampler.

    it plays like a keyboard/synth/piano, but can just change the instruments.

    It therefore leaves room to for instance sound like the perfect Hammond, or string section or flute or rockguitar or accoustic guitar.

    Peter Gabriel (ex-Genesis) is another example of a peson using samplers.
    Most of the people I mentioned, certainly Gabriel, have extensive websites with loads of information on their "instuments", they'd be a wealth of information for you.


    P.S. I was more thinking along the line of a Yamah P200 (or now 250 as its new brother is called) in combination with a Roland MC909 or such toys.
    So Long And Thanks For All The Fish.

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    Then why not have Breakfast at Milliways!


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    Tree People to the Core! indygeezer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Synthsizer advice needed

    Thanks able. The sales rep at the store of interest did use the term SAMPLER when speaking of the S08. Said it had a built in sampler of 16 pianos and with a specified add-on module could be made to do even more. Or for twice the price they had an even larger sampler.

    Also stated I'd need a good piano speaker/amp or pro style headsets for home use and if used in a gig it'd be run thru the soundboard and PA (this much I knew).

    I was noticing last evening how much of my music had an organ sound in the bg. Eric Clapton and even Alan Jackson (rather diverse styles).


    Then, for shts and giggles, I've been watching a Moog synthezer on eBay...it went for a bit over $600.oo.
    If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

  11. #11
    Grumpy Old Man (PD host) able's Avatar
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    Default Re: Synthsizer advice needed

    LOL

    Andy Giddings, the current Jethro Tull keyboard player, uses mainly sampling, he has his keyboards build in a stand build to resemble the Hammond of days gone by, looks cool, but his sound is fantastic and sometimes if he plays fluteparts on the keyboard it is hard to distinguish what is flute and what keyboard,of course he has sampled every keyfrom the master himself, so he has a good source

    He still plays a lot of the older Tull tunes, which all have a Hammond in it, and you can not hear the difference any which way.

    http://www.j-tull.com/musicians/andr...ngs/index.html and click on the equipment link to read what he uses, some of that is easily available.
    So Long And Thanks For All The Fish.

    If you've done 6 impossible things today?
    Then why not have Breakfast at Milliways!


  12. #12
    Member Jon Theodore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Synthsizer advice needed

    DO NOT GET A HAMMOND. THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE. GET A ROLAND XFANTOM.

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