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KRONOS 88 or Kronos 61 w/ 88-Key MIDI Controller?

 
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Kevbo



Joined: 03 Mar 2019
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:14 pm    Post subject: KRONOS 88 or Kronos 61 w/ 88-Key MIDI Controller? Reply with quote

Hey, everyone. I was wondering what you may feel is better? I enjoy a full-88 keyboard, especially for piano sounds. What idea would be better?

1. Spending the $4,000 on a Kronos 88, OR

2. Purchasing a 61-key Kronons, and getting a light-weight, 88-key MIDI controller to control the Kronos with?


Is it pretty straight forward to play the Kronos sounds from another keyboard? I would also think with the second setup, if I were to join a band again, I can have the 61-key Kronos with the synth-action for leads, but I can still have a full-sized piano for my piano sounds, etc. Can this easily be done for gigging? Thinking something like piano sound of Kronos going to MIDI keyboard, and splitting the Kronos keybed into strings and brass. I don't know. Just throwing a potential set list out there.

Thank you!
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geoelectro
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is how I do it. I have a Yamaha P80 which is old but has the same action that the Motif series etc. So I bought the K61. That way, if I only need to play organ/strings etc. I can just bring the K61. If I need to cover piano etc. I bring the P80 as well.

You do have to "set up" so both keyboards work properly etc. but once that's done it's all good. I created an initial setup (combi) that I use as a template for new combinations. Having the two boards does give you two actions, light and heavy, and a lot of real estate for zoning different sounds.

Geo
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Liviou2004
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Location: Nemours - France

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:27 pm    Post subject: Re: KRONOS 88 or Kronos 61 w/ 88-Key MIDI Controller? Reply with quote

Kevbo wrote:
Hey, everyone. I was wondering what you may feel is better? I enjoy a full-88 keyboard, especially for piano sounds. What idea would be better?

1. Spending the $4,000 on a Kronos 88, OR

2. Purchasing a 61-key Kronons, and getting a light-weight, 88-key MIDI controller to control the Kronos with?


Is it pretty straight forward to play the Kronos sounds from another keyboard? I would also think with the second setup, if I were to join a band again, I can have the 61-key Kronos with the synth-action for leads, but I can still have a full-sized piano for my piano sounds, etc. Can this easily be done for gigging? Thinking something like piano sound of Kronos going to MIDI keyboard, and splitting the Kronos keybed into strings and brass. I don't know. Just throwing a potential set list out there.

Thank you!


1°) If you purchase a Kronos 61, you will get a semi-light keys keyboard. So if you purchase a Light keys 88 notes KB, you will have two light KB !! And so, no heavy weight keys for playing Piano. Plus, I guess it will cost you more (as a good 88 notes KB is very expensive)

2°) If you play many piano parts, It would be better to buy a Kronos 88 (or 73 if you think it'll be enough), and add a second KB with a light touch and aftertouch, for playing some leads on the Kronos.
It's not too hard to find used 61 keys synths, not too expensive, and connect it to the Kronos.

(That's what I did : a Kronos 73, and a Studio Logic Sledge 2 for a second synth.)

Then, in Combi Mode, you could get a Piano sound on the fisrt track, played bu the Kronos KB itself, and other sounds opn other tracks, played by the external keyboard. It's very convenient and easy to do.
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Last edited by Liviou2004 on Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kevbo



Joined: 03 Mar 2019
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:33 pm    Post subject: Re: KRONOS 88 or Kronos 61 w/ 88-Key MIDI Controller? Reply with quote

Liviou2004 wrote:
Kevbo wrote:
Hey, everyone. I was wondering what you may feel is better? I enjoy a full-88 keyboard, especially for piano sounds. What idea would be better?

1. Spending the $4,000 on a Kronos 88, OR

2. Purchasing a 61-key Kronons, and getting a light-weight, 88-key MIDI controller to control the Kronos with?


Is it pretty straight forward to play the Kronos sounds from another keyboard? I would also think with the second setup, if I were to join a band again, I can have the 61-key Kronos with the synth-action for leads, but I can still have a full-sized piano for my piano sounds, etc. Can this easily be done for gigging? Thinking something like piano sound of Kronos going to MIDI keyboard, and splitting the Kronos keybed into strings and brass. I don't know. Just throwing a potential set list out there.

Thank you!


1°) If you purchase a Kronos 61, you will get a semi-light keys keyboard. So if you purchase a Light keys 88 notes KB, you will have two light KB !! And so, no heavy weight keys for playing Piano. Plus, I guess it will cost you more (as a good 88 notes KB is very expensive)

2°) If you play many piano parts, It would be better to buy a Kronos 88 (or 73 if you think it'll be enough, and add a second KB with a light touch and aftertouch, for playing some leads on the Kronos.
It's not too hard to find used 61 keys synths, not too expensive, and connect it to the Kronos.

(That's what I did : a Kronos 73, and a Studio Logic Sledge 2 for a second synth.)

Then, in Combi Mode, you could get a Piano sound on the fisrt track, played bu the Kronos KB itself, and other sounds opn other tracks, played by the external keyboard. It's very convenient and easy to do.


Sorry, I meant light as in all together light weight for portability. I would still get a piano-action fully-weighted keyboard. But yes, I guess I could go the other way, too, getting Kronos 88 and a MIDI synth board.
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:41 pm    Post subject: Re: KRONOS 88 or Kronos 61 w/ 88-Key MIDI Controller? Reply with quote

Kevbo wrote:
Sorry, I meant light as in all together light weight for portability. I would still get a piano-action fully-weighted keyboard. But yes, I guess I could go the other way, too, getting Kronos 88 and a MIDI synth board.


Oh, yes, I see what you mean. The portability is a point I have not considered.

I do not play in gig, but if I had to, for sure, I will buy a flight case with wheels. It's an extra charge, but it worths it. For two reasons :

1°) Kronos protection
2°) Protection of my back !!
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Kevbo



Joined: 03 Mar 2019
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: KRONOS 88 or Kronos 61 w/ 88-Key MIDI Controller? Reply with quote

Liviou2004 wrote:
Kevbo wrote:
Sorry, I meant light as in all together light weight for portability. I would still get a piano-action fully-weighted keyboard. But yes, I guess I could go the other way, too, getting Kronos 88 and a MIDI synth board.


Oh, yes, I see what you mean. The portability is a point I have not considered.

I do not play in gig, but if I had to, for sure, I will buy a flight case with wheels. It's an extra charge, but it worths it. For two reasons :

1°) Kronos protection
2°) Protection of my back !!


I already have a soft-shell case for my Korg Triton that has wheels and extra cushion and protection with some hard plastic pieces weaved in. I'd probably get a hard-shell if I started gigging again with a Kronos.
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also use a K61 with other controllers for gigging. The Kronos is a very flexible MIDI controller and sound module. It has both regular MIDI as well as USB, so you have nearly unlimited options for your 2nd board.

The K61 is fairly portable. Still kinda heavy for some at 35lbs, but totally giggable with a soft case, which is what I do. Both the 73 key and 88 key are fairly cumbersome to lug around, but many do gig with them. Try lifting one at a music store.

Another thing to consider is the action. Some really like Korg's RH3 action, some not. By getting a K61 and another 88 key controller, you have a lot more options.

Finally, your overall cost can be lower getting a K61 + 88key. A used K61 for around $2000-2500 plus the great action 88 key like the Privia PX-5S for $700-1000 is a great bargain.
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psionic311 wrote:
Some really like Korg's RH3 action, some not.


It's exactly the same point with the Casio Privia PX-5s : some like it and some don't. For example many complain about it's noisy keys.

psionic311 wrote:
By getting a K61 and another 88 key controller, you have a lot more options

Not more or less options than the opposite config, K88 and a 61 keys controller, especially if this 61 keys controller is not only a controler but a synthesizer. This can add a second sound source with a second color.

Here is an ad for a 2,200 $ used Kronos 2 88 : https://www.sweetwater.com/used/listings/211-used-korg-kronos-88-kronos
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The OP mentioned he might be gigging. Personally, I'd groan before every gig breaking down the 88 key Kronos from the studio, putting it in a big bulky case, then hauling it out to the vehicle, and squeezing it in. It's so big and heavy, at 54 pounds and 57" long. It might not even fit in the OP's car (my SUV only holds 56" in the passenger seat), especially if you use a hard case, which adds even more length and weight.

Breaking down that beast late night after the gig, and loading it in the car, then driving home and unloading it again to take out from the case and set back up in the studio... no thanks, too heavy, not worth it for me, but then I only occasionally need the full 88 key range on my gigs. It may be different if the OP plays a lot of piano heavy songs instead of more typical pads/organ/brass/bass/synthy stuff.

A lightweight 88 key controller + a K61 is my choice of a giggable combo.

Which is better is up to the OP --
Option A) 60 lbs of Kronos 88 ($3800) and 15 lbs of MODX6 ($1300)
Options B) 35 lbs of Kronos 61 ($3100) and 31 lbs of MODX8 ($1900)
(And half the cost if he shops around)

Weight is a very important consideration when loading and unloading by yourself. I'd choose Option B. Cheaper, lighter.
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19naia
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buying an 88 RH3 key Kronos and then adding a 61 key controller, may be better.

Only reason to do it the other way, is if you value portability over the best 88 key action for the price.

More portable to get 61 key Kronos and a lighter weight 88 key controller which will not have as good key action as Kronos.

Kronos 88 key action is the heaviest in its class, compared to FA-08 or Montage-88.

Play the Kronos 88 RH3 key version and then decide what you want.
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Kevbo



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, all! Definitely some stuff to think about. As far as gigging, I haven't been in a band since my daughter was born almost 6 years ago, and my wife and I also have a special needs 2-year-old boy. My wife actually had to resign from her teaching job of 14 years to take care of our son. We're managing, and doing out best.

I mention all this, because as much as I would like to be in a band again, I don't see that happening anytime soon. I do, however, have my own "studio" at home, and I do enjoy recording a lot. I use my Triton with a lot of VSTs, but would like to have an all-in-one board, too. I know there are other options, but I have always been intrigued by Korg. Still wondering if anything will proceed the Kronos SE, but only time will tell.

Thanks again, everyone! Very much appreciated the feedback.
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Xenophile
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're don't have to move it around, I would get the Kronos 88 with a 61-key synth-action controller. I have a Roland A-800PRO that is quite nice.
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Perilous
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started out with the Kronos 88 alone. Dead simple, one keyboard, no extra gadgets. It may have been the most efficient setup--for me.

Then I added the Roland A-800 Pro and found it super useful for controlling all the drawbars of the Kronos CX-3 organ engine. I added more and more keyboards and found that if I were stacking synths upon synths, it would make more sense to put a lighter Kronos 61 on top instead of hiding the control surface and the touchscreen beneath all the upper tiers.

So then I went with the Kronos 61 and the Casio PX-5S combo. Hated the PX-5S action. Now I'm using the Kawai ES-110 as the 88-key controller. Tried the Korg D1, Dexibell Vivo S1, Roland A-88, but the Kawai is best for me. Things are more complicated with more devices, more cables, more splits, more programming, but it's so nice not having to lift a keyboard over 35lbs. The ES-110 is comfortably light and has an action I like more than the Korg RH3.

I'd say don't get just a controller. Your smallest keyboards can be the heaviest, your biggest keyboard should be the lightest. Don't limit yourself to always having to bring two keyboards where ever you go or when ever you play. Get keyboards that can stand on their own but also can serve as a controller.
Keep it simple, keep it light!
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Poseidon
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:25 am    Post subject: Re: KRONOS 88 or Kronos 61 w/ 88-Key MIDI Controller? Reply with quote

Kevbo wrote:
... I enjoy a full-88 keyboard, especially for piano sounds. What idea would be better?


If 88 keys and Piano is your main interest, consider

Kawai MP11SE

Grand Feel Wooden key action with let-off, triple sensor detection,
and Shigeru Kawai concert grand added in SE models.
Amazing unit!
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