Seaboard Sale Ends Oct 22. Any Experience?
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Old 14-10-2018, 12:17 AM   #1
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Seaboard Sale Ends Oct 22. Any Experience?

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I was interested in possibly trying out a seaboard before I go full hardware, and the biggest thing that everyone seems to say is that 99.9% of all the software out there just can't support it. There's a handful of DAWs and VST's out there that can do MPE right now and even less hardware. But this sale gets you the cheapest (but expandable if you need it later) seaboard hardware and probably the best 2 VSTs that support the whole range come with it for free. Comes with a copy of Traktion that will support the VSTs and MPE as well, so maybe you have to play the parts you want and import the audio to another DAW. There are a few other DAWs that support MPE, but it comes with one just to be sure, though you may not even need that. So I thought I'd let everyone else know in case that sparks some interest.

So on to my question, has anybody used one of the seaboards or anything else with MPE and what is your experience? What kind of music and sounds is it good for? Is it something you need playing experience going into, or can you use it to learn to play?

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Old 14-10-2018, 12:42 AM   #2
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Re: Seaboard Sale Ends Oct 22. Any Experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Noise View Post
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I was interested in possibly trying out a seaboard before I go full hardware, and the biggest thing that everyone seems to say is that 99.9% of all the software out there just can't support it. There's a handful of DAWs and VST's out there that can do MPE right now and even less hardware. But this sale gets you the cheapest (but expandable if you need it later) seaboard hardware and probably the best 2 VSTs that support the whole range come with it for free. Comes with a copy of Traktion that will support the VSTs and MPE as well, so maybe you have to play the parts you want and import the audio to another DAW. There are a few other DAWs that support MPE, but it comes with one just to be sure, though you may not even need that. So I thought I'd let everyone else know in case that sparks some interest.

So on to my question, has anybody used one of the seaboards or anything else with MPE and what is your experience? What kind of music and sounds is it good for? Is it something you need playing experience going into, or can you use it to learn to play?

I love my LinnStrument, but it is very different from the Seaboard, so my input here has to be taken with a grain of salt.

However, imho you don't need real MPE synths and DAWs to use an MPE controller expressively if you just stick to monophonic melodies for expressive playing. Basically, you get the expressiveness with MPE in any case, no matter if you use it in mono or poly. So, in the most primitive way to use it, you can still play expressive melodies without using a second hand like crazy to do pitch and modulation wheel changes as you would have to do with an oldschool MIDI controller...

For what music is it good? For anything that gets more organic and emotional than putting some notes in a pattern without any change in pressure, pitch or modulation I would say. So, any form of music that is based on expressive melodies, basically, but I use it for most things that need MIDI control these days.


That said, in contrast to the LinnStrument, the Seaboard is based on a traditional piano layout and people not used to that usually seem to prefer other controllers (myself included since my experiences with a real piano were very limited). Also, I read some negative things about the feel of the material used for the Seaboard, so I would recommend to check it out somewhere IRL first.
The MPE-specific synths by Roli and FXpansion included in the promo offer seem to be great, I have been planning on getting these at some point, too.

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Old 14-10-2018, 03:58 AM   #3
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Re: Seaboard Sale Ends Oct 22. Any Experience?

Tried it at guitar center once. It feels good to me, very playable. A nice alternative to traditional keyboards, fun to slide notes. And yeah the roli synth is rad!

For learning to play, you'll maybe wanna get a standard 49 or 61 key controller of some sort with a sustain pedal. One, you get more keys and knobs cheaper, two, you get to learn with more standard key feel. Imo not very hard to play chords on the roli but for new players it might make sense to have more clearly defined surface areas per note. Up to you though.

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Old 14-10-2018, 02:30 PM   #4
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Re: Seaboard Sale Ends Oct 22. Any Experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsachi View Post
For learning to play, you'll maybe wanna get a standard 49 or 61 key controller of some sort with a sustain pedal.
Don't you think it's a big advantage to be able to play all the expressiveness with one finger and without additional pedals and wheels? Same for learning to play expressively - why would you learn with a pedal and non-expressive note-trigger keys first and only after that switch to MPE? Doesn't that make it much more complicated, expensive and hard in terms of learning how to play expressively for no good reason?

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Old 14-10-2018, 06:12 PM   #5
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Re: Seaboard Sale Ends Oct 22. Any Experience?

I already have a little cheap 25 key controller that I occasionally use when writing. And, on occasion, the stuff you hear in my songs is played in to get the swing just right (I play in the exact timing I want and transpose the notes to the pitches I need). Most of my best songs are played at least a little bit. I'm not great, but I can get close enough for 4 bars at a time. So as long as I can transpose glide/pitch bend per note, I should be golden. I'm going to try and demo one today as one thing I do have trouble with is playing polyphonically quickly (held chords are a-ok, but fast stabs can be an issue), which is going to be one of the big advantages of the mpe standard, so I want to see if I can do some cool stuff like make stabs vary nicely by playing them expressively.

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Old 14-10-2018, 10:29 PM   #6
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Re: Seaboard Sale Ends Oct 22. Any Experience?

Looking forward to see what you write about your first experiences with it!
For me, MPE opened up a new world of expression in the real sense of the word. Before I got an MPE controller, I would make music mostly based on switching a few notes I played around and around and more or less tried to get all expressivity with additional automation and modulation work added later. I never really liked playing and never played long just for fun without the aim of ercording for a song - that completely changed, since I enjoy playing now. This affected my earlier focus on sound design a bit, but I think that's all part of the journey...

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Old Yesterday, 12:24 AM   #7
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Re: Seaboard Sale Ends Oct 22. Any Experience?

So Guitar center had a few in boxes, but I couldn't demo them, and the next nearest one is like an hour and a quarter a way, and they can't promise me a demo either. They told me to just buy it and I could return it if I didn't like it and I'm like "thanks no thanks if I wanted to do that I'd just buy it online" (in my mind mind you, I'm not a dick to people in customer service). So I'm gonna sleep on it for now at least, or I may be back in like 20 minutes to say my unit is in the mail. There's a lot of stuff I want to do soon-ish and I need to examine my priorities a bit.

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