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External organ keyboard?

 
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Bitflipper
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Joined: 24 May 2016
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:15 pm    Post subject: External organ keyboard? Reply with quote

After many years dragging around multiple keyboards for live performance, the Kronos is now my sole stage instrument. So far, it's working out well. Love the pianos!

For organ, the CX-3 engine does a fine job, sound-wise. I run it through a Ventilator to stereo amplification and have no complaints about tone/realism. But a piano keyboard sucks for playing organ. An aggressive back-handed glissando can tear the flesh from your knuckles!

I really miss having a dedicated organ, with its light action and waterfall keys (and real drawbars). While I do plan to add a Crumar Mojo to my rig when I can afford it, I'm thinking that a separate MIDI controller with organ-style keys might do the trick in the meantime.

Problem is, I can't seem to find such a product. I know they exist (the Mojo uses an off-the-shelf Fatar keybed), but as far as I can tell they're only available in Italy. Can anyone suggest a (hopefully inexpensive) controller with a Hammond-ish feel?
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SanderXpander
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Joined: 29 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you really want waterfall keys I think a second hand older Hammond, Roland or Nord is your best option. If you decide to go for synth keys it's worth noting that the Kronos accepts class compliant devices over USB and also supplies power, which saves some cabling.
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Falcon2e
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Joined: 19 Feb 2008
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Location: Indiana USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Nord 2 SW won't rip flesh from your hands, but the semi-weight keys don't feel like the old B3. SanderXpander's idea of finding a used Hammond might be the way to go.
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Niven8
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Joined: 12 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
I use a Novation 61SL mkii. Great action....very,very light...but not waterfall..usb powered and can be run on batteries. You can program the sliders to mimick drawbars...but I havent gone that far.
I've seen several around second hand...and they're only £280 or so new.
I'm also after the new 61 mojo!
regards niven.
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Bitflipper
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Joined: 24 May 2016
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestions.

All I've found so far is the StudioLogic/Fatar VMK161, but it's $700, kinda pricey for a MIDI controller. I've seen second-hand Hammonds for not much more, so SanderXpander's suggestion may end up being the most practical. I have used Novations in the past and liked them - I'll have to try one out.

In the meantime, I've taken an old M-Audio Axiom 49 out of retirement. It's not a great action, but it's unweighted so at least it feels more like an organ than the Kronos does. I'll make do with that for awhile.

And who knows, there might still be a chance of someday reclaiming my stolen Hammond. It could happen.
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jeremykeys
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've occasionally used my King Korg midied to my K73 for organ. It's works fine.
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If music is the food of love, play on and play loud!
Gear: Kronos 73, Triton Pro-X, Wavestation EX, Polysix, King Korg, Monotron and Monotron Duo, Minikorg, 1 Roland U-20, Hammond M3, 4 accoustic and 6 electric guitars, 1 Ibanez 5 string bass, a bunch of microphones and other very cool toys, 1 wife and 2 cats!
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Canoehead



Joined: 09 May 2015
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Location: Madoc, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use, and have been very happy with, the Studiologic VMK 161- organ. Great feeling waterfall keys. I got mine used really cheap. I see them occasionally on Craigslist or Kijiji for $150- $400 Canadian.

Something to be aware of though if you want to use the VMK drawbars to control the Kronos' CX3 engine you will need something like Midi Solutions Event Processor. The reason, as discussed elsewhere in this forum, is the Kronos uses system exclusive data to control drawbars while the VMK only sends Continuous Controller data.

For now, I use the VMK and control drawbars using the Kronos' sliders.

Cheers,
Gord
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Bitflipper
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to hear, CanoeHead. Gosh, if I could find one for $150 that would surely give me hope that my luck is changing.

I figured the drawbars might not be compatible, so I'm not surprised. That also means the Kronos won't be useful as a controller for computer-based Hammond emulations such as VB3. A minor inconvenience, but another reason to pick up a VMK.

Last night I spent some time playing on the Axiom I'd dusted off, and there's no doubt that any unweighted synth-action keyboard is an improvement over a realistic piano-type action like the Kronos'.

Now I'm on a quest for another possibly-nonexistent product: a keyboard stand that can handle a short keyboard, let me set it above the K73 but off to one side so it's not obscuring the set list. Any suggestions?
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SanderXpander
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually I think if you set the Kronos control surface to "ext" the sliders just send CC#s (which you can define in the global menu). As long as VB3 can "invert" the values or you don't mind sliding in the opposite direction it should work fine. I haven't tried it, though I do own VB3.
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catthedd



Joined: 03 Nov 2015
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone have experience with the Hammond SK1? Have been thinking of getting that as a secondary KB to go with the Kronos for live classic rock.
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benny ray
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:51 pm    Post subject: t Reply with quote

Yes a friend had one and the organ is excellent but i tried a NORD ELECTRO 5D 73 and liked all the sounds on the Nord better other than the organ. The Sk1 i a good keyboard and organ is the strength. While the Nord all the sounds are mostly vintage sounds that are used in classic rock bands. The pianos on the Nord for me are better that the Kronos. I have had 2 Kronos before and own the Kronos 2 88 now that i use with the NORD. They compliment each other nice. Love the Kronos but the Nord is light and i use for some blues gigs. Good luck in your decision. By the way the organ is very good on the NORD also.
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Bitflipper
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

catthedd wrote:
Anyone have experience with the Hammond SK1? Have been thinking of getting that as a secondary KB to go with the Kronos for live classic rock.


It's quite nice, both in terms of tonality and playability.

However, after my Hammond was stolen a few weeks ago I've decided not to replace it. Instead, I will be getting a Crumar Mojo, which I believe is the best faux-B3 on the market today. It not only beats the Suzuki/Hammond (and Kronos) on sound and Leslie simulation, the single-manual version is 500 bucks less than the SK-1.
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SanderXpander
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Almost anything sounds good through a Ventilator Wink

But I'd sure love a Mojo. I just checked and am surprised they're only 1333 here. The 61 is, at least.
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Perilous
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Joined: 29 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the Roland A-800 Pro as my organ controller. The upper potion of the keys are harder to press down so it can be a bit annoying, but I've gotten used to it. It's far from being waterfall keys, but it's much lighter action than the Kronos2 88. More synth-action, I suppose. I programmed the 9 faders and knobs to control all the organ functions via sysex messages.
I like the A-800 Pro better than the Novation SL MkII mostly because the keys are quieter.
I'm beginning to find that not having two manuals for playing organ just isn't enough, even though I'm more of a piano player.
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Bitflipper
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SanderXpander wrote:
Almost anything sounds good through a Ventilator Wink

But I'd sure love a Mojo. I just checked and am surprised they're only 1333 here. The 61 is, at least.


Mojo + Ventilator is the second-best combination possible. First-best, of course, would be a vintage B and Leslie.

Of course, for us old folks with bad backs, it's not just finances that determine which option to choose. Rather, it's 900 lb vs 30 lb that's the deciding factor.

I've been lusting after a Mojo for awhile, but until recently it was not possible to buy one in the U.S. from a U.S. retailer. But Sweetwater carries it now, making it a less-risky proposition.
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