Using Keytar

Anybody using a Keytar?

I am thinking about this:

I played in a band with a Roland keytar during years and still love it, but it has a long cable and a midi box on the floor which make it difficult to modify for wireless use. I still like it because the keyboard is large, but I am actively looking for a used AX-edge which is in my opinion the cooler of the market (but top expansive in my opinion). Thanks to the large keyboard I could use it both as a regular MIDI controller and for its keytar possibilities when needed on stage.

But, never tested!

Definitely Paul, I use the Roland ax-synth, though. Got a fair deal on a second-hand one, and it’s cool to have it!

But for me not wireless front of stage any more, I experienced difficulties with latencies when away from my floor monitors (easily solved with proper in-ear monitoring), and you do need to have enough spare batteries (the AX takes 8 AA and drains them quickly enough), a proper wireless audio and/or wireless midi set-up (the panda midi - MidiBeam is a great solution, I recommend it!).

And after a few years of dealing with these, it just wasn’t worth the effort for me anymore. Besides, I like to be buried behind my key-rig anyway😎

In the old days, I used the AX just as a midi controller, but since I turned to GP it’s way easier to direct the internal sounds into GP as well, overload them with fx and use these also. Great addition!

Just out of curiousity Paul, what is your live set-up now?

Had one once…,I looked like a total dork with it on stage. Got rid of it!

I am using a S88 MKII from Native Instruments.
Ableton Live 10.1 for backing-/click-tracks
GrandVJ for realtime videos controlled via IAC from Ableton Live.

I am switching songs from the S88 and with OSC messages GO controls Ableton Live.
Start/Stop, Volumes is sending MIDI to GP and GP sends OSC message to a custom built M4L patch.
The S88 can show the levels of the tracks in Ableton Live in realtime, so everything under control from my S88.

Because I am not using plenty of keyboards some people in the audience think I do not really play :wink:

Mac Book Pro 2018 32GB Ram, 2TB SSD and a RME UFX II as Audio Interface.
In Ear Headphones from HEAR SAFE.

For better Live Performance I am thinking about using a Keytar when playing some Solo-Parts.

And why not something “unusual”? (still has a strap…)

  • Linnstrument
  • Eigenharp Tau
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Flight of the Conchords can pull it off :slight_smile:

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Yeah why not :slight_smile: I’ve been using an Roland AX Synth in several big band shows years ago because we had some solo battles between keys and saxophone or effects like me playing a Stevie Wonderish synth harp solo in between the audience…

That worked quite well. I used a (now pretty old) CME WIDI for wireless MIDI connection.

I’ve got an Alexis Vortex 2, a red version that I imported from the US. I use it to play GP over the top of a sequence in a duo with a guitarist buddy. I love it but don’t get too showy with it. It is completely wireless and acts instantly over its own access point with its dongle plugged into my Surface Pro. I have set up the eight pads as presets and the change through wireless midi is instant. I used to think they were dorky too, but I got got over that. It can also be used without the strap as a second keyboard on top of another. It doesn’t make sounds of its own. I use it for accordian sounds in Irish music, and my favourite use is driving a VB 3 organ vst where the rotary effect can be switched on and off by tilting up the neck using the built in accelerometer.

I have an Alesis Vortex, too. It’s inexpensive and pretty reliable, although I haven’t used it much. It employs MIDI wireless over Bluetooth.

@pianopaul, did you finally test or buy one? I just bought a used AX-Edge from a music shop. I paid 649€ with two years of warranty, the previous user never used it much. But, I never tested it, I hope I will like it :grimacing:

I use it, but I do not use the inbuilt sounds.
I also use wireless midi because I do not trust in bluetooth.
The controllers on the keytar I mapped to widgets or referenced in scripting to play some notes or do specual pitchbendings.

And I found out: red sounds much better than white :wink:

You mean you use an alternative wireless MIDI link and not the built-in one?

If red will make plugins sound better, I will be an happy keyboardist as it seems that mine comes with a custom red blade :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Because I am moving on stage when I play the keytar, sometimes I go off stage or I start playing when I am in the middle of the audience I do not use any cables.
The inbuilt option is bluetooth and the distance of bluetooth is not that much as I need and the reliablility is not good (that is no fault of the keytar this is just the spec of bluetooth)

I am using this:
Bildschirmfoto 2020-07-03 um 10.03.01

Mine is completely red with black keys, yours is fake :wink:

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I would love to see that! Very cool :sunglasses:

Thank you for the advice, it is not the first time that I read good comments about the Panda device.

Regarding the model I bought, the store told me that the previous owner often changed his mind and bought a lot of keyboards without using them too much. He would have hardly used this one at all. But had a car body shop paint a blade red. It takes all kinds to make a world. :wink:

The Panda devices rocks! Even with just midi :sunglasses:
The only thing: use in-ear monitoring 'cause with sound latency and all it can get pretty freaky pretty quick, on (especially a big) stage!

Yes, I am using in Ear - Sure PSM900

Sorry Paul, I should have known you used these, from an earlier post somewhere…

Actually, I thought to reply to @David-san. I’ve no idea if he uses in-ear, but I recommend especially when running around on stage, or doing a “Nils Lofgren” live :grin: