Killer organs, spanky electric pianos, soaring leads, lush pads—that’s what I hear in my dreams. This is my dream rig and it sounds as good as it looks. Modular by design, it can be as simple or as elaborate as the gig demands. A quick rehearsal? Throw the Nord Stage Compact in the bag and go. Most gigs just call for just the four-space rack and the Stage, which means just one trip from the car. The rack holds power, Ashly mixer, Yamaha Motif Rack XS, and Roland MSE-1, and mounted in back are my beloved Neo Ventilator rotary pedal and Radial direct boxes. Custom RedCo snakes include cable groups for the Nord Stage and Wave and Minimoog Voyager. The Stage’s group carries left, right, and organ audio channels, MIDI, power, and Ventilator speed control. Adding the Wave takes only a few minutes, and it’s a remarkable synth. Its custom paint job is a real treat. The Voyager is the most recent member of the family, and is joined by an Echolution delay. All three keyboards are about hands-on control. Shamefully, I use the Motif Rack XS very little due to “lack of spontaneity.” But when gigs call for something beyond organs, EPs, and synths, the Motif offers an enormous cache of amazing sounds. And the old Roland String Ensemble? It’s thick and juicy and perfect for layering into pads.
Dan Patten, a.k.a. RedKey on the Keyboard Corner forum.