Guitarist has to play some synth parts, what to buy?!?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by SnoozyWyrm, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. SnoozyWyrm

    SnoozyWyrm SS.org Regular

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    Greetings fellas!

    As per the title, the band thinks we should try and incorporate some keyboard-y songs in our playlist. Up until now I faked some organ parts on guitar (using a hog/helix combination) but now we would try playing stuff that I'd rather use a real board to play them, instead of making crazy presets on the Helix for each song. We play covers mostly, 70/80s ranging from Blackmore/Dio/Purple to Motley Crew, Gotthard, Priest, Maiden etc...

    Anyone that tried this before, that could chime in any tidbits of wisdom?

    I am completely noob in terms of keys-gear. What would you suggest buying for such a use? Could I make it with a 64-keys or less?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    Easiest solution is to grab the EHX B9, C9 and S9 pedals. That's most of your organ and classic synths covered. EHX also has the Mel9 for the melletron sounds.

    The more intensive solution is to the Midi synth pickup route. Fishman Triple Play and the classic Roland synth pedals come to mind.

    There's also the Boss SY300 while limited in overall sounds can cover most of what you need with a bit of tweaking.
     
  3. feraledge

    feraledge Heard the Good News about Maple Fretboards?

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    Might as well Jump:
     
  4. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Would be interesting to hear from some legit dedicated keys players -> I'm pretty terrible with keyboards but even I feel kinda cramped or constrained by having any less than 60-ish keys. I don't think you'd have any problem using a guitar amp for this purpose. Actually, I really like some of the cool noises I get from running synths into an amp with the gain up. I'm pretty sure a "keyboard amp" and a bass amp are the same thing on a basic level, as in they're full-range amps and cabs.

    What about playing to a click and sequencing the keys through a laptop to a pa?
     
  5. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    If you already have a laptop/iPad, a MIDI controller and soft synths is probably affordable. If you're starting from scratch, I'd probably grab a decent Roland or Yamaha synth. For me personally, I like to be playing guitar along to the keys, so we just backtrack them and play to a click. Not sure how tight/loose the covers are if that would work.
     
  6. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    I used to play keys in a prog/fusion band, so I'll weigh in.

    Get an m-audio venom. They are dirt cheap on the used market, and they sound awesome.

    I used to run mine into an old pod XT live for overdrive and Leslie simulation. With the Leslie Sim, you can get very convincing Hammond Organ sounds.

    Even without that, it excels at 70s and 80s lead and pad tones.

    For the price you can't go wrong.

    Don't expect to use the presets though. Plug it into your computer and make patches with the editor. That's how you get good tones.





    Or do what I eventually did and buy yourself a full Hammond and Leslie and just stop playing out entirely :)
     
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  7. Dantas

    Dantas SS.org Regular

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    If you have the money, the Meris Enzo is the be all/end all synth pedal for guitars. I really like this demo, but there's other videos that show some more classic synth tones that you may need for your covers band.

     
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  8. rokket2005

    rokket2005 SS.org Regular

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    Having to run a laptop in tandem with a midi controller is a pain in the ass imo. If you're looking for simple get an old Korg M50 and be done with it.
     
  9. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    Empress zoia, once it comes out.
     
  10. SnoozyWyrm

    SnoozyWyrm SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for all the replies guys. I should have mentioned that I'd prefer avoiding convoluting my guitar setup even more. Being able to plug the Helix (alongside the Hog and an expression pedal) and be done with it is a huge boon. A keyboard can always go in the PA.

    Playing-wise, I can convincingly approach some parts (let's say Lord's parts in Burn), while some others make me feel I can't really play them on a fretboard (say Hold the line)

    I checked the M50 and the Venom. The M50 might be too much although it will certainly cover almost every upcoming need. The Venom on the other-hand impressed me, and wont make me feel bad about spending ~800 bucks on a novelty :p

    Any other ideas?
     
  11. rokket2005

    rokket2005 SS.org Regular

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    Ah, didn't see you were in Greece. Without knowing that market for used stuff and how much you're looking to spend on it it'll be hard to give recommendations.
     
  12. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    If just for recording to create backing tracks, get a controller & a soft synth setup.
    I beta test for Arturia & use their stuff exclusively, love it, been using them lots longer than I've been beta testing, for about 7 years now.

    It really depends on the kinds of sounds that you're looking for though.
    I'm a vintage keys guy, so they totally fit my needs.
     
  13. SnoozyWyrm

    SnoozyWyrm SS.org Regular

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    I must be able to use it easily on live situations, to jump between parts - which means I belatedly realise I'd have to buy an appropriate stand as well. Sequencer/looping capabilities might help but are otherwise covered from pedals (a 22500 ehx specifically).

    I'd rather keep the budget below 500, but I am known to be easily impressed and occasionally splurge :p
     
  14. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Put a guitar strap on it and wear it around your neck like Edgar Winter.
     
  15. SamSam

    SamSam GAS problems

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    I received my Meris Enzo yesterday, it's tracks incredibly well and I still cannot accept how good it sounds for a guitar synth pedal.

    I don't even know if that moniker does it justice. I think I would rather just call it a synth.

    It does have a learning curve mind and you will need either an expression pedal (two presets), the four way switch (four presets or a midi set up (sixteen presets) to get the most out of it.
     

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