the EMU Xboards as a lower-cost alternative to the Novation SL
Hey, Rick, I was in a bit of a hurry when posting above, while being serious (yet a little flippant) with Chad's good info. I've played X-Boards a few times: seemed like a fair-to-good build quality, wheels were good, everything was accessible, and the aftertouch was OK. Over time, I can't tell you. On paper, it certainly fulfills many of the functions that Chad mentioned, at a lower price point than any Novation. If a 2-oct. will do, GC is selling now for about $120 after a $20 rebate. You could talk them down to $110 or even $100 take-home cost with a good rap.
Maybe 2-oct.s won't do it for you, though. Myself, I'd rather have 4 or 5 of them than an 88 anyday
, assuming a studio situation. If you're formally trained, or gigging with it, that's another story. Listen, if you ask me, you're always going to get the same answer: "Novation. It's worth it." Search my name and "Novation Remote25" in the Project5 forum, and youi'll find out everything you wanted to know (and then some
) on how I see/use specific aspects of that controller.
In a nutshell, though, here's the gist: the "feel" is great for me, the software has matured to include most anything, and the sliders/encoders, knobs, buttons and X/Y pad. The last one? I don't know how I'd ever live without it. I'm actually looking around right now at 11 controllers of some sort, and I can't see anything that I'd trade this 3-4 year-old Remote25 for. Good template editor, splits, control configuration as complete as you'll ever see (at present), ch. aftertouch, velocity curves, release velocity, true Note Offs, and it feels
like it's molded to my playing style (most important of all).
The CME's? Yeah, flaky in the beginning. Sure look good in theory, and built like a tank. Too bad. I don't know; if I were starting from scratch, I might consider a MOR keyboard, 2 or 4 octave, and add on one of the Behringer BCR/BCF controllers. Lots of knobs (or sliders), and you can channelize that together with your main KB controller, like one big synth. That's what I do with all my stuff, then split it apart into separate controllers in a heartbeat. That way, you can concentrate on the "feel" and a few must-have features now, save some bucks, but know that you could "add on" to that feature set later on. You have
to research that kind of plan heavily, though. No surprises.
I read at P5 about your Alesis Ion experience. Sorry to hear that. I'm not trying to convince you otherwise, but I have had an incredibly polar-opposite experience with that 'piece of kit'. Love it. The O/S was shaky, and I worked that out. No aftertouch transmission, but I can send it in from another controller. And all those NRPN-spewing knobs! Anyway, here's the reason that I bring it up: With the multis ('setups'), you can transmit over four separate MIDI channels simultaneously. I'm tearing it up with the four Elements of Dimension Pro in multitibral mode.
And Rapture? Well., I never was happy with the tracking in this Roland guitar synth, but I'm looking into some newer ones. You see, there's six
Elements now in multitimbral mode. I didn't think of it until late last night, but then it hit me. This Rapture thing screams
Now if I could only
get Rapture to receive on MIDI Channels 11-16 ...