Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

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Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by ObsoleteModular » Tue May 05, 2020 2:14 pm

Hello

Interested in any experience of having had the desktop module version of a synth and then traded up to the keyboard version and how much of a transformation it was and why. Was it just the same really? Was it like chalk and cheese? Somewhere in between? Was it worth the extra outlay?

I always slightly regretted buying only the desktop version of the DSI OB-6 but I could be in a position to level up. I'd still be shelling out a fair chunk of cheddar though. Wondering if the outlay will feel justified or whether the new will just feel old very quickly and I'll feel like I didn't get so much for my money. One advantage I'd forgotten is that the OB-6 keyboard has aftertouch. I don't have any other keybed with aftertouch but plenty of gear that'll respond to it.

Anyone?

Jim

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by Voltcontrol » Tue May 05, 2020 2:38 pm

If you have more modules a separate AT capable controller (keyboard) might be a good choice.

For something like the Hydrasynth it's a no brainer with the touchstrip and a Prophet 12 is also much more desirable with more controls on the full synth over the desktop. With the OB-6 it's not night and day imho.

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by ObsoleteModular » Tue May 05, 2020 2:45 pm

Voltcontrol wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 2:38 pm
With the OB-6 it's not night and day imho.
Nope, it's a tough call. There is something to be said for control surface and keybed being inseparable. Sometimes the OB-6 gets shoved aside and only used from a controller which makes me lazy with creating patches on it and using control surface in real-time.

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by Licudi » Tue May 05, 2020 3:17 pm

I bought a Roland D-50 the week it came out but traded it for the rack version (the D-550) a couple of years later. Back then, that was an expensive mistake. Turned out Eric Persing's famous patches made the most of the D-50's keyboard so never sounded quite as good on the -550. To this day the D-50 is still my favourite controller.

Just to show I am incapable of learning, I had a similar experience a few years ago when I bought a D-05 to test against my now venerable D-50. Although Roland did an excellent job on the -05 the D-50 was the one I kept.

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by rowsbywoof » Tue May 05, 2020 7:09 pm

I've gone both ways. Blofeld Keys to Desktop, didn't feel like I missed anything, really. XT to XTK and used the XTK way more because of the attached keyboard. Not even sure why, the rack XT has the same amount of control, but something about having the XTK's immediacy with the keyboard always at the ready meant it got used WAY more, and way more than the Blofeld.

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by Red Electric Rainbow » Tue May 05, 2020 7:18 pm

i prefer my synthesizers to have keyboards. my only gripe about the novation peak the lack of its own keybed, especially considering it responds to polyphonic aftertouch.
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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by target_destroyed » Tue May 05, 2020 7:41 pm

I prefer modules because I'm a shitty keyboard player and end up sequencing everything anyway. :ripbanana:

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by ObsoleteModular » Wed May 06, 2020 4:26 am

target_destroyed wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 7:41 pm
I prefer modules because I'm a shitty keyboard player and end up sequencing everything anyway. :ripbanana:
Well it's funny you say that, I've been having piano lessons for a few years so these days a keyboard is actually something I can use rather than just a stupid pile of plastic in the way of the good stuff! :hihi:

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by umma gumma » Wed May 06, 2020 4:31 am

I'd prefer to have a full sized/larger keyboard controller paired with the OB6 desktop, than the keyed OB6

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by commodorejohn » Wed May 06, 2020 9:16 am

I still use modules for stuff since I only have so much space (gotta make room for the vintage computers, too!) but I definitely do feel more "centered" when sitting down with a single discrete instrument.
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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by (((EMP))) » Wed May 06, 2020 9:35 am

I generally do NOT like keyboard synths, mostly because they’re huge and take up too much space, but for some reason when it comes the Waldorf Microwave XT I prefer the XTK. I’ve had 4 different ‘XT’s’ but only seem to bond with the keyboard version for some reason? Weird. :despair:

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by murch33 » Wed May 06, 2020 10:01 am

I tend to prefer keys - at least with my current setup - because it’s more immediate and doesn’t require me to fire up my iPad and interface for sequencing. I have the power setup where I can turn on any individual keyboard and just sit down and play through headphones, or I can turn everything on all at once if I need stuff like monitors, iPad interface, etc.

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by ObsoleteModular » Wed May 06, 2020 11:20 am

Interesting that two separate people mention the XT vs XTK. Perhaps some instruments nail the combination of control surface and keyboard whereas others don't.

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by mutierend » Wed May 06, 2020 11:45 am

I have a Hydrasynth keyboard and a Hydrasynth desktop. It's kind of hard to compare them because the desktop isn't just a "module" version of the bigger keyboard, since it has the 24 touch pads with poly AT.

I have the module version of the ARP Odyssey and I like it more than the keys version because I can use a 61-key controller to play it.

The Xerxes is a desktop module and I kind of wish there were a keys version that was laid out like the Elka Synthex, on which the Xerxes is based. It would be pretty big though.

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by Voltcontrol » Wed May 06, 2020 12:30 pm

mutierend wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 11:45 am
I have a Hydrasynth keyboard and a Hydrasynth desktop. It's kind of hard to compare them because the desktop isn't just a "module" version of the bigger keyboard, since it has the 24 touch pads with poly AT.
What is your thought on the 'missing' touch strip, does it impact the breadth/depth of use or is it just different?

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by mutierend » Wed May 06, 2020 12:35 pm

It's just different. I love the touch strip on the keys, I don't miss it on the desktop. I play the desktop in a totally different way.

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by rohelineoun » Wed May 20, 2020 10:41 pm

I'm a terrible keyboard player so I stick to desktops and racks but when I switched my Elektron Analog 4 for the Analog Keys, something about it clicked for the first time. Some of this is due to the improved workflow. Less cramp, more dedicated buttons (something the Mk2s improve further I think) but the expressiveness of the synth really came out for the first time.

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by Red Electric Rainbow » Thu May 21, 2020 5:42 am

the pads are the hydrasynth desktop are genuis. i hope more companies offering modules will incorporate them.
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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by Jason Brock » Thu May 21, 2020 6:02 am

I would always prefer to own the keyboard version of a synth, if I had enough space. There's just something appealing about it being a self-contained unit.

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by Blairio » Thu May 21, 2020 8:29 am

For me it comes down to available space. Right now my music room is quite small, so modules (and small ones at that) are the order of the day. I use a Roland A500 Pro controller, with mappings for all my main modules ' control parameters.

I recently bought a Behringer Odyssey, and even though it is compact, I have to have either it or my Moog Grandmother set up - but not both. Either of them also does duty as the controller for my eurorack setup. The pressure pads for pitch bend and modulation on the Bodyssey drives me nuts, but the keybo action is ok.

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by oscilloscope » Thu May 21, 2020 9:54 am

"Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?"

This imo is a silly question. Everybody who buys a desktop does it not because desktops sound better or look better or feel better, but because:
--- lack of physical space in the studio, and/or
--- lack of funds

In an ideal world everybody would get the full KB version.

(imo)

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Thu May 21, 2020 10:00 am

the solaris was only worth it for the controllers in offers. you get wheels, joystick, ribbon, keyboard. the nord pitch stick is an amazing piece of technology. it is a block of wood. it feels like an instrument. the resolution is better than midi. now I will be dreaming about these amazing synths all day.
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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by Blairio » Thu May 21, 2020 10:30 am

oscilloscope wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 9:54 am
"Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?"

This imo is a silly question. Everybody who buys a desktop does it not because desktops sound better or look better or feel better, but because:
--- lack of physical space in the studio, and/or
--- lack of funds

In an ideal world everybody would get the full KB version.

(imo)
You would be amazed how many keyboard instruments have a crap keyboard action - and not just the lower end of the price scale. The Moog One's keyboard is a shocker. The Matrix 12's was no great shakes.

Both these are/were very expensive instruments.

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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by Hi5 » Thu May 21, 2020 10:35 am

Depends. When the keyboard adds more interface control then a definite yes.
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Re: Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?

Post by ObsoleteModular » Thu May 21, 2020 11:11 am

oscilloscope wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 9:54 am
"Ever swapped desktop module for keyboard version and felt the gain?"

This imo is a silly question. Everybody who buys a desktop does it not because desktops sound better or look better or feel better, but because:
--- lack of physical space in the studio, and/or
--- lack of funds

In an ideal world everybody would get the full KB version.

(imo)
It's not a silly question as the interesting range of answers demonstrates; answers that do not support your hypothesis

but thanks for sharing :tu:

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