Let me show you a picture of a very magical item that I just picked up at Long & McQuade:
OK, so that’s just a simple AC adapter and daisy chain for guitar effects pedals, so what?
Well, less than an hour before an idiot at a music store in my home suburb insisted that no such thing existed…
I was on the verge of whipping out my iPhone and calling up the Long & McQuade website to holler “THIS!!! GIMME ONE O’ THESE YOU PUTZ!!!” but figured fuck that, I’d just stop by Long & McQuade on my way to the synth cave.
It gets better, though.
Prior to insisting that AC daisy chain power thingies don’t exist, said sales guy also royally fucked up on a synth sale.
See, I’m wanting to start live shit again and have figured out the following: I want to bring one synth only and possibly a drum machine and an amp for each.
So that one synth needs to be easily adaptable with some great bass sounds, must be polyphonic, must have a relatively large keyboard (at least 49 keys and more are better to have the fuller range) and above all it must be quick to switch patches between songs.
So, my beloved all-analog DSI MoPho won’t cut it because it’s monophonic and would require another synth for chords, but worse than that is that DSI forces you to tap the up or down arrow keys to scroll through patches. Which is a bit of a problem if the first song requires patch 1 and the next one requires patch 67, as you have to stand there stalling and tapping for what seems like an eternity on stage.
I was all set to buy the also all-analog polyphonic DSI Prophet ’12 until I looked at its PDF manual and realized it has the same issue… Which is not to say I wouldn’t buy it some day, just that it won’t work for live.
Basically what would be ideal would be if my 37 key Korg MS2000 came in a 49 or even a 76 key version, but no dice.
Why the MS2000? It has 128 patches in 8 banks of 16, and since it has the 16 patch buttons across the top of the keyboard and the up and down bank buttons, you can switch patches in just a few button taps. It’s also what I call a “real” synth, which is to say it’s oscillator based and has various filter, mod, etc. knobs to fuck around with the sound.
Now, back to today… Research indicated there is a new Korg on the market, the KingKorg. It has 61 keys, oscillators filters, mods, and all the other toys, and my main interest was to see how fast and easy I could swap patches on it.
In other words, the King Korg was almost a done deal, and I saw online there was one in stock at the store I went to.
So, first problem, as I’m explaining what I wanted, dude starts trying to get me to buy a shitty Yamaha that is sample-based with no sound modification controls. You know, one of those awful schmaltzy stage pianos.
“It has loads of awesome acoustic piano and string sounds!”
Uh, I play industrial music, fucktard. And I just told you I want something oscillator based.
I go over and start mucking with the KingKorg, which sounds and works awesome BTW, and while dude did get the hint that I don’t want a goddamn Yamaha (just a glorified Casio, really. Ick.), he then focused on trying to sell me on a Korg Krome, which is their version of a crappy stage piano with no sound controls.
Hmm… I wonder if that had anything to do with the KingKorg being $1300 while the Krome is $1700? Naw, couldn’t be…
Me: I’m not seeing an oscillator control or any sort of LFO… Is that shifting the touch screen menus?
Translation: fuck off, I’m playing with the KingKorg.
In reply I get a patronizing comment about how there’s no LFO because it’s sample based.
Yeah, no shit. Which I specifically said I don’t want.
And he kept hammering on the “oh, it’s so easy to change patches on the Krome.”
Bullshit. You have to scroll through a bunch of touch screens with tons of useless shit in them in order to find something that sorta sounds likes a real synth, except it’s not because you can’t fuck with the oscillator or LFOs or mods.
I point out that the KingKorg is what I meant by easy – it has a few central buttons one for each bank, and then there’s a knob to scroll through the patches within each bank.
Dude would not back off pushing the Krome, which is none of what I want and it weighs 45-50 pounds to boot. Not very friendly for lugging around.
So, I took my leave swearing under my breath. There are a couple other synths I’m considering like the Nord Wave, so I have research to do before laying out any money, but so far the Korg KingKorg is in the lead.
If I buy it, though, it’ll be the easiest sale this store’s competitor, Long & McQuade, ever made, because you can bet I won’t be giving my money to someone who was trying to sell me the exact opposite of what I asked for.