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converse320

Cheap Sound Module?

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I bought my daughter an M Audio Hammer 88 to continue with her keyboard grades.  This is a good quality budget controller, with no inbuilt sounds.  The plan was to use my old laptop with the free stuff that comes with the keyboard as a sound source.  And indeed, it sounds great like this, particularly the DB-33 organs etc.  However, not it is not conducive to domestic bliss.  The complaint is: too many many wires, computer encroaches on space, takes too long to fire up, she'll just go onto Youtube etc etc. 

So, whats the absolute cheapest way of getting some sounds out of it without using the computer?  There seem to be new modules on ebay for £60 or so, or alternatively I could buy an old module at the same sort of price.  Any thoughts?  I just want something small and discrete that will make it work simply like her old keyboard.

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I used a Yamaha TG100 sound module for many years - it is small and neat and you may find one secondhand. That will still require wiring.... a wall wart, a midi cable and a headphone cable - so you are not wires-free..... I imagine that you chose the Hammer 88 because of the weighted keys, which are definitely required for serious piano students, but the lack of on-board sounds is a real downer. Could you consider selling p/x your keyboard for something like a Yamaha P-45 which I think is a very similar action ?  Best of luck, whatever you decide.

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Do you have an ipad? Midi interface and apps?

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Looks like the keyboard is USB-Midi, and so there should just be one cable needed between the keyboard and your computer for it to work. If you're talking about a laptop, then that should be very little space. If it takes ages to start, then that's some troubleshooting to do with the computer. If your daughter will just go on Youtube.....I'd question her commitment to the instrument lol.

But in all honesty, connecting to the computer for the sounds will be your best bet. Not sure why you'd spend an extra £60 to achieve something you available to you now. Unless you are talking about a really (REALLY) old school tower computer or such-like.

Because the keyboard is class-compliant (doesn't require a driver on Mac or iOS), you could connect it to an iPad (using a USB -> Lightning adapter), and use the keyboard to trigger sounds from an appropriate free app. Best of both worlds I'd say.....assuming you own an iPad or iPhone :)

Si

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Posted (edited)

Synthogy now does a slimmed-down iOS version of its fantastic Ivory II Piano (the original is one of the best computer piano libraries around). That’s worth checking out. 

Edited by Quatschmacher

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Thanks for replies. 

We don't have an ipad, but she does have an ipod touch which i think runs ios.  I'll check out the Ivory 2 Piano to see if that would work.  She's using my old macpro  laptop at the moment, with the included Ableton live.   Connects to pc with a single usb cable.  I then run the computer into a bass amp for sound.   The set up it is not working too well for her as there are too many distractions available on the computer  - Dan Tedium in particular.  Functionally (if you don't care about cables etc),  its great.  Great sounds, and she can record and play back with Ableton. .

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If your computer is fast enough, I’d suggest getting the full version of Ivory II. You could (and should) disable the network cards when running it in order to get the most latency-free performance. 

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That is the problem with any module. Any old module such as a sound canvas or the equivalent korg / Yamaha etc will do a fine piano sound and will get for next to nothing, in fact I have a korg o5r/w I use live for organ sounds on foot-pedals - it is great. But you are still going to have the keys - module - amp wiring, which is a faff, although less faff I would say than the laptop as there is less chance for distraction.

I know what the distraction thing is like though, I have loads of sound modules, keys, synths and all the computer stuff that can make amazing sounds, but under all that I have an old yamaha electric piano and if I actually want to play something, i turn on that and just play. It does a piano, nothing more (well, it does have other things, I never touch them), and it is probably the only one that I don't get distracted by all the options, sounds, possibilities etc, it 'just' does piano.

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woodinblack, you are exactly right - the endless possibilities of a computer next to her means she spends 5 minutes playing and an hour messing about.

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2 hours ago, converse320 said:

Just picked up an Alesis Nanopiano on ebay which I think will work out.  Thanks for all the help folks.

Ah Bollocks. I've a Sound Canvas you could've had 😆

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Sounds incredible I know, but you could always NOT connect the music computer to the internet...

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