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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Suggestions for a workstation with the most natural strings and piano.

rennspec

Hi, I'm new here. I haven't used digitals or keyboards for a long time but now I need a keyboard for a small project.
Can you please suggest what workstation has the most natural-sounding strings (contrabass, violin), as well as upright piano and harp. (hopefully within 3K, new or used)
Other must-haves are full-size keyboard, at least 8-track sequencer, and some percussions.
The nice to have is integrated speakers, but only if they are good.
Also, I would really prefer weighted keys, unless there's something absolutely brilliant without them.
Will not use any pre-defined arrangements, or high-tech "techno" sounds/grooves etc, so these are not important.
Just need to record instrumentals with 3-5 instruments, but the key is the most natural (at price point) sound.
I've done some internet research, Yamaha MOTIF XS, Roland Fantom seem to be the front-runners, but I haven't had a chance to try them. Any other suggestions?
thanks a lot.
September 29, 2010 @06:30pm
bobbymars

you'll get alot of debate about which board is best or most real . . though I think most people would agree it's a personal choice . Therefore you MUST spend some time with these instruments and get to know them . These days going the software route may very well present the best options . . but its nice to have it all there in a keyboard . oh you might think about rack versions of the above . . don't leave out korg M3 or Kurzweils and do take your time . . research all the options . . bobby
September 30, 2010 @12:56am
elwoodblues1969

I own the Korg M3 and the strings are excellent,but the Yamaha XS & Kurzweil PC3 probably have a more extensive variety of strings.
With Korg's expansion set,the pianos are the best I've ever heard from Korg,but they are not the most natural sounding out there,as they have a bit of a klinky type sound to them...which is most noticeable when performing a piano solo.
Either the Yamaha XS or the Kurzweil PC3 series are your best bets sound-wise....as for sequencing though,the recording on the Kurzweil is going to be a nightmare,as the display screen is half the size of the Yamaha and the PC3 does not have pattern recording.
That being said,the Yamaha XS is the ideal choice for you in my opinion,especially since you can get a significant discount on one.
As for the Roland,it's nothing more than an overpriced toy...go to your local music store and demo one for yourself,you'll hear what I mean.
-Elwood
September 30, 2010 @02:17am
rennspec

Bobby and elwoodblues1969,
thanks for suggestions, I'll look more into M3 and PC3. Now, I've heard several times people that going the software route may get me the most natural sounding instruments. I'm fine with it as this will not be used for live performances, strictly stationary recording. Any controller boards you would recommend, or any top 5 will do?
Also, I'm not very familiar with PC music production, I understand I should buy VSTs for sounds, but what about sequencer/music editing software? Any recommendations?
thanks.
-Vlad.
September 30, 2010 @01:38pm
BPlayer

I would be sure and play the new Motif XF and the new Kurzweil PC3K8 before deciding....... Enjoy - Keyboard shopping is so much fun !
September 30, 2010 @02:35pm
rennspec

BPlayer - yes, it is fun! Both are on the top of my list, if I can only find them near by :)
September 30, 2010 @10:10pm
ahutnick

Kurzweil PC3K8 is listed on Sweetwater's web site to be coming in September however that is not accurate. Kurzweil had said they would be in stores in November however an E-bay dealer says he was told not till December. You probably will have better luck finding a Motif XF.
October 1, 2010 @02:51am
DAS

Kurzweil PC3K8 is listed on Sweetwater's web site to be coming in September however that is not accurate. Kurzweil had said they would be in stores in November however an E-bay dealer says he was told not till December. You probably will have better luck finding a Motif XF.

Yeah, it's November now. We'll get the website updated. Thanks for the heads up on that.
October 1, 2010 @12:43pm
ahutnick

Glad to help. Hopefully the PC3K8 will actually be in stores in November as there have been a number of date changes.
October 1, 2010 @03:26pm
DAS

Agreed. It's often like this with new products, although some manufacturers have more trouble than others. They've (nearly) all had to learn to deal with the many complications of overseas manufacturing.
October 1, 2010 @08:26pm
ACB

I'd investigate the Yamaha MO8 deal:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MO8
:)
February 28, 2011 @12:13am