Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

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anotherscott
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by anotherscott » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:14 pm

vertig0spin wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:27 pm
Triggering them via the DX7-II is not the best, because the keybed on that synth can't get anywhere near the 127 velocity...I have to do a bit of editing of the MIDI velocities and volumes afterwards on much of what I record
Since you're using VSTs anyway, can't you do velocity scaling on the input? (I've used hardware devices to do velocity scaling when connecting hardware in the past, you could do that as well, but in a VST system, you should be able to avoid that expense.)
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:04 am

anotherscott wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:14 pm
Since you're using VSTs anyway, can't you do velocity scaling on the input? (I've used hardware devices to do velocity scaling when connecting hardware in the past, you could do that as well, but in a VST system, you should be able to avoid that expense.)
Yes, I should elaborate a bit more. I do adjust the velocity curve and other settings on the VST, which helps considerably, but it's not perfect, and still requires a bit of editing. Even with the highest velocity curve and other settings possible on the VST, the DX7-II can't quite trigger the highest velocities possible (not that I play the highest velocity most of the time, but).

Also, with the best velocity setting I can set on the VSTs, it still needs a bit of adjustment, because some things are a bit less and some things a bit too much. Having a light non-weighted keybed makes it difficult to adjust playing style perfectly to align with triggering VSTs, mainly pianos. Thus my preference for the Montage8. I have no doubt that a keyboard of that price and keybed of that quality will be able to trigger VSTs perfectly, so that the only editing I do will likely be if I made a mistake or want to over emphasize something for effect.

I'm not sure what you are referring to about hardware devices to do velocity scaling when connecting hardware..!? My home setup is basically, the DX7-II MIDI out, through an M-Audio MidiSport 1x1, MIDI to USB connector, that connects my DX to the computer USB port, and then the driver/Pro Tools/VST plugin takes it from there.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by anotherscott » Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:39 am

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:04 am
I'm not sure what you are referring to about hardware devices to do velocity scaling when connecting hardware..!?
When connecting hardware directly (no computer), if you need to adapt the velocity of a controller that doesn't like to go to 127 (like a DX7, or as I discovered, early Casio Privias), you can insert a MIDI Solutions Velocity Converter, or a similar device from Anatek which is long discontinued but can pop up on eBay.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Derek » Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:55 am

Or use an NUC PC and Cantabile for very flexible MIDI processing and the ability to run VSTIs, VST effects and edit playback (MIDI and audio) to boot.

I.e. PC with flexible software is much better than restricted solutions :)
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by anotherscott » Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:05 am

Right, PC gives you many more options. For a live gig where you just want to plug one keyboard into another, the little boxes can be helpful.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Derek » Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:57 am

My NUC PC is a little box, the size of a paper back book :)

Seriouslsly, I agree, the small boxes can be useful, but I gig in a config which is fixed and the NUC is the heart of it. Once you’ve used something like Cantabile as a live VST host and MIDI router/processor you will be sicking with it. :)
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:47 pm

Regardless of whether I could get the DX to trigger perfectly, whether via a hardware device or software, my biggest issue is that I can't currently write songs or piano compositions, or just enjoy playing piano for too long right now. I've always written and played on the acoustic upright piano, and I've never been able to do that on the DX (especially write songs/compositions), even with the awesome sounding Piano VSTs I've used for recording purposes & playing live in the past; however since the past couple of years the acoustic piano will no longer stay in tune...it was my great great grandfather's, is over 120 years old and was moved 1 too many times.

So that is why I value having a new synth with an 88 keybed that feels like a piano, over the feel of a typical synth keybed (which I prefer for playing synth, organ and other types sounds). I think when I tried the MODX8, it wasn't just the issue with the samples not triggering properly, but the feel of the keybed wasn't quite right and the sample triggering issue kinda masked that. So when I had a chance to try the Montage8, not only did it sound awesome/realistic like an actual acoustic piano for how hard I hit the keys, but it felt far more like it too. I could tell instantly that the keybed was higher quality and felt right for playing piano. So the trade-off of not having the synth feel when playing synth, organ sounds is more than well worth it, because I will be able to play, write and enjoy piano again!
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by anotherscott » Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:51 pm

Absolutely. Velocity scaling can help fix the inherent MIDI problem of a DX7, that was just a side topic. I agree, there's no way it will ever feel as good for piano playing as any decent hammer action board.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by parametric » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:52 am

vertig0spin wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:47 pm
however since the past couple of years the acoustic piano will no longer stay in tune...it was my great great grandfather's, is over 120 years old and was moved 1 too many times.
Sorry to hear that. I have my Father's Baby Grand (Which I learned on).

Not so old as your Grandad's, but bought in the 1930s I think.

I do remember my Dad having that tuning stability problem - and it was sorted out by fitting slightly oversized pegs.

Dad had a Tuning Hammer and used to tweak the odd note, and soon gathered which were the problem ones.

He got a Piano Tech to change them - and it was ok after that . . .

Just a thought . . .

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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:06 pm

parametric wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:52 am
Sorry to hear that. I have my Father's Baby Grand (Which I learned on).
Not so old as your Grandad's, but bought in the 1930s I think.
I do remember my Dad having that tuning stability problem - and it was sorted out by fitting slightly oversized pegs.
Dad had a Tuning Hammer and used to tweak the odd note, and soon gathered which were the problem ones.
He got a Piano Tech to change them - and it was ok after that . . .
Just a thought . . .
parametric
Thanks. This is the one I learned on as well. The last time I had it tuned, the lady did an awesome job, but had to take her hammer tool and tap certain pegs into the board a bit to get them to hold. Some had already been tapped in during previous tunings. Each peg was marked with white marker as to how much it was set in. Some are almost solid white, meaning they can't be tapped in anymore and won't be tunable next time. She also mentioned that the cost to replace the pegs/board would be fairly significant, and that oddly enough the old eagle clawed piano stool was worth more than the piano. Apparently older pianos aren't considered as high a valued antique like the stool, mainly because they lose their ability to tune.

Anyway, I had the option to either spend a bit of money to fix the old piano or upgrade my old DX7-II to a new synth that did both, and chose to put that money towards the Montage8 & some awesome sounding speakers.
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by parametric » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:29 am

Certainly, replacing the entire Board (or "Plank" as it's often called) - together with a full set of pegs would be pricey.

The Plank is really the heart of the Piano, as it is SO important in the ability to hold pitch in a world of

huge stresses and stretched wires . . . .

IMO - your Piano would only need a number of oversized pegs to sort out those that can't he hammered in any more.

I would guess you're not about to get rid of the Piano - so it could be a back-burner project for later . . . :wink:

Certainly worth an ask, as to how much it might cost . . .

That Aside, the Montage IS a great board. I was invited to an "Artist's Day" at Yamaha, here in the UK, along with <Saul>.

I found the Keybed to be excellent, and I was able to play most expressively after only a few minutes, indeed,

It compared very favourably to my Alesis Fusion8HD which I rate very highly (and also has After-Touch).

I think you will like it a lot (as primarily a Piano Player - like Me) . . .

parametric
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by vertig0spin » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:04 pm

Yeah, I don't plan to get rid of it, so I will definitely keep that option on the back burner for future to replace those pegs that can't he hammered in any more with oversized ones. Thanks for the idea!
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Re: Montage8 vs Kronos 88 - The Decision

Unread post by Kent Stallard » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:53 pm

I've only played around on a Kronos once in the store, but I'm a Yahama guy. I've always liked Korgs for their synth lead and pad/comp sounds, but acoustic instruments sound much better on the Yamahas, in my opinion.
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