Music People of EduGeek Unite, and give me your thoughts ..
Right, so as well as the obvious IT stuff and design bits, I'm also a muso, and I'm looking at a bit of a reconfiguration of my kit at the moment, so calling on fellow musos to see what you think is the best way to go.
Now, I'm a keys player mainly, and it's that which I'm looking to change at the moment. My current rig is:
MacBook Pro (Mid 2010) with SSD 8GB Ram and Logic Mainstage (used for lovely paddy sounds and other generics when the 2 keyboards aren't using on board sounds for such)
Korg SV-1 88 Black Edition - used for the obvious (EP sounds, Clavs, Organs and standard piano sounds) - it's a great piece of kit
Korg M1 61 Work Station (well 60, I need to replace one of the black keys! lol) - used for the authentic vintage sounds that the M1 is famed for and is my baby
So, between this I get quite a nice sound for the various things I want, but there are some things that are left a little wanting, horn sounds and better strings as well as decent organs for when I'm not using the SV-1. This leaves me looking into the options then really, which I've narrowed down to the following:
New Keyboard Option:
Now, I really like the SV-1 so that will stay in the rig, but the M1 I'm using less and less of the on board sounds, in fact, there's only the odd song I do use the vintage for now when out and about, most of the vintage is guilty pleasure stuff in my home studio these days! With that in mind, I've been considering the Korg Kronos X (either 73 or 88, but probably the latter). This would mean that pretty much, I ditch the MacBook Pro from the equation and just have the Kronos and SV-1 in the rig, MIDI link them for any layering I need, but boom, there we go.
Things with this option, I get a great sound base, better than the one I currently have, plus for the odd sound I use on the M1 I can always spend a bit of time sampling it in to the Kronos (though if I look hard enough, I'm sure I can find most things or even generate them with the on board stuff). There are a massive number of sound libraries that I can purchase for it though, meaning that it could end up costing a bit more, but it's one of those as I need a sound I don't have, I could buy the pack and it's charged into the project / tax return.
New MacBook Option:
This option pretty much involves leaving the setup as is for the whole, but buying a couple of bits of expand it. One thing would be to get a new MacBook (my current one is getting full with all the music bits on as well as the IT stuff and design bits - so I'd get a dedicated music one). Now, this is on the cards anyway, as my old MacBook (c. 2007) is starting to play up and I use that for when I'm DJing events. The old one would be recycled into a DMX controller most likely, so it works out well.
Anyway, this option would mean a new MacBook Pro, a new external sound card (my M-Audio is lovely, but the power supply is unreliable, so I'm limited to 2in 2out, which is enough for how I currently run, but I'd like the option, so I'd be looking at a Focusrite Saffire Pro (probably the 40 but maybe the 56), I'd also look to buying the Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate 9 sound set to go with it all, this should pretty much give me everything I desire and then some. I'd need to get a new rack for the setup and some extra bits and bobs here and there to make it work a bit smoother (with hopefully less multi-coloured spaghetti wire for the various MIDI) and faster to get set up.
Cost wise, the 2 options are around the same (until you add in all the sound packs for the Kronos) but the initial set up is the same pretty much, besides, I don't believe cost should be a dictator for the decision over something, unless you just can't afford it etc. The way the sounds are processed are essentially the same as it's both computer based technically, just one happens to be built in to the keyboard. That means I'm just left wondering, do I go more "purist" and get the setup that is purely designed for the job and get the additional bits of fun like Vocoders and easy access to organ drawbars etc (I could with option 2, but that would be another bit of kit and it's where to stick it) or do I go down the route just updating the current setup I have and making it more managable.
Thoughts (including any thoughts from those who have a Kronos or Kronos X and / or have use either Komplete 8 or 9.