1 88 key controller vs 2 61 key controller

Just trying to get an idea of what people consider more convenient when playing live.

I know from a math perspective 2 61 key, keyboards has more range than 1 88 key controller but I guess the 88 key might be more convenient as you don’t have to raise an arm up to get to the extra notes.

I am not worried too much about having realistic piano keys and actually would prefer the synth action myself, but I am more concerned with being able to play a variety of sounds from keys like splits and such.

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How good is your left hand?

If it’s good and you can do melody lines, chords, etc, with your left hand…the single 88 might be fine.

If your left hand is not that strong, then you might want the 2 controllers.


I think the biggest benefit of two keyboards is to have one that feels like a piano (weighted) and the other with synth or (organ) waterfall keybed.

With two keyboards, you have a bit more room to maneuver. Maybe you would have less work setting up splits and remembering them. Maybe you would not have to change sounds as much because there is more keyboard real estate.

But, I would think setting up/tearing down a single 88 key keyboard is is much, much easier and quicker then two (even 61-key) keyboards. (FWIW, I use an 88-key weighted keyboard and a 61 key synth keyboard).




Technically I could bring most of my setlist on one board and switch by feet, do crazy split zones etc. And I did - or better tried - this in the past. No chance for me…

My personal preference is 88 (or 73/76 hammer action) + 61 on top.


Agree - mostly pianos on the bottom 88 and everything else - (mostly) on the 61 waterfall (YC61). I tried all the crazy splits on one 88 keyboard but found it too much to remember and wasn’t enjoying it.

Now you have to remember the correct keyboard :wink:


Keybed feel is important to me so it’s an 88HA on BOTTOM and a 73 waterfall on TOP. I play a lot of organ and also need drawbars on top. I agree with others that remembering split point on a keyboard is a challenge unless you always split at the same point. I added labels to rackspaces to remind me of split points.

On gigs where I don’t need too many splits or too much organ playing I bring only my Arturia Keylab MkII 88 to make it simple.

However, it is weighted, so if there is some more organ playing, I need to organ manuals or there are more splits, I have my Nord Electro 2 SeventyThree, with waterfall keys on top.

The added bonus with the Nord Electro is that, in case of emergency :slight_smile:, it can be used as an analog keyboard with great Rhodes and Hammond sounds. (Not so great analog piano sounds.)

Exactly my approach too. I have one weighted 88 keys piano controller and one waterfall 73 keys organ controller. I also like to have all sounds of a song available at the same time and splitting a 88 keys controller and a 73 keys controller makes it possible most of the time.

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That’s where tape labels come in… life savers.

There are other solutions:

But in fact, learning your splits is part of learning a song. I think is only necessary to mark your splits for song you don’t play often, but it is nice to have this possibility.


ok, how do I get a keyboard to show up in my rack like that?

appears I’m in alignment with all of the real keyboard players here (I’m just an amateur hobbyist). I prefer my Studio Logic SL88 for all percussive voices and a synth action for everything else (I use a Korg N264 73 key for that).

Until I can afford a roadie, I going to do everything I can to keep my rig down to a single deck. Since I can play piano on my Korg that fast organ/synth parts on my SL88, the korg goes with me everywhere.

I can’t just start playing all over the keyboard in a given key like the real keyboard players. I learn a song by committing it to muscle memory. So I always play exactly the same notes every time I play a song. With some planning, i am able to get the 73 key Korg split to handle everything. Worst case - Don’t you (Forget About Me) - Strings only need about 1/2 octave, piano and choir use 1 each, and that ringing synth part uses a little more than 1.

I will resist using a second deck for as long as I can. For me, a single 73 key wins out over 2 of anything.

You’ve got one in the keys templates of GP when starting a new gig. Or alternatively here:


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For me one 88 is enough.and just easier as a second board (which I used as well before).
With food pedals and related rackspaces I am happy.
Some months ago I changed from a RD2000 Stage Piano to a Studiologic SL88 Grand for live and a Studio Logic SL88 Studio at home.
The Grand keys are lighter as the studio keys.
Organ riffs are no problem; if needed you can play with the velocity (in GP).

As I am the lead singer as well, a second board just builds to high…

In my opinion; if you use the GP possibles, a second board is not needed, but looks good!..

Especially if you are the lead singer and the only keyboardist of the band (with a lot of parts to play), it is very convenient to be able to concentrate on your keys playing and on your vocal articulations rather than on switching Rackspaces/Variations. If you have more splits and less Rackspaces/Variations switching it can help. By the way, in my above rackspace the three sounds of the right, namely PercFx, SwBass and DeepBs, are from you and I love them :wink::+1:

I believe its a personal preference/ needs situation…

For my personal preference convenience of traveling small is priceless. I mainly use my 61 key boards for gigs. The. non flagship ones are much lighter and easier to move around.

So usually I would have both my fantom -0 61 and m-audio 49 packed in one keyboard soft case separated only by a towel both boards facing away from each other. In this case one bag covers both keyboard that I can now throw on my back like a knapsack and am ready to go.

I have to play bass so I simply use a printer cable and connect the m audio using a printer cable lot the device port on the back of the fantom 0.

Although I love the sounds of the Yamaha modx I chose to get the fantom 0 61 because of the multiple outputs and its many control sliders.

It functions as my audio card for the M1 Mac running gig performer eliminating the need for extra cables from the computer to the sound system. Gig performer also sees all the out puts of the fantom which I can now configure as I please.

I then use one of the out put on the fantom to send bass. (I love how the bass patch responds and articulates to different playing techniques)

The only negative to this configuration is I am unable to go deeper in the lower end of the keyboard with out the extra step of pressing the negative octave button but I can live with this.

So for me smaller is better due to tranportation and this arrangement does not affect my playing but allow me to do more.

Ouch, for one moment I was thinking about why somebody wants to connect instruments with 25 to 36 pin connector style cables? Still my first idea when reading about printer cables.

I feel old at the moment :crazy_face:

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Another name for USB B, I think (?) (Both of my keyboards use this).

Who would want to play B3 on a weighted keyboard?..