I’ve been looking around the internet for good references and/or blogs on keyboards in a modern worship music setting. I haven’t found much as of yet, so I wanted to share whatever knowledge I have on this blog. This will be ongoing as I learn and experiment. So I hope some of you find this helpful and interesting.
To start, I wanted to go over my current set-up at my church.
I have a Yamaha S90, a Korg CX-3, and an M-Audio Oxygen 61 for my boards. I sometimes use a Yamaha S03 as a MIDI controller as well. I’m running the MIDI controllers though Reason and Live on a MacBook Pro. I usually have the S90 and the CX-3 on a two-tiered stand (S90 on bottom). I’ll have the Oxygen on it’s own single stand near the computer, and the S03 is similar when I use it.
The S90 has a great piano sound and feel. It’s hammer weighted, so it’s great for that piano feel. I usually use it just for piano and a particular synth pad sound that sits well with a variety of songs. I’ve also found some other cool synth/pad sounds I use occasionally.
The CX-3 is a great Hammond B3 emulator. I’m sure it won’t pass as the real thing, as it seems nothing will, but it sounds great in the house and the manual drawbars are wonderful for changing the sound on the fly. I only use one preset, really, even though I should use more. But I just change drawbar settings and turn percussion on and off for most of my patches anyway.
The Oxygen I use for transport control of Live to fire clicks and the occasional loop. All of the sounds are from a custom Reason rack that I have set up. There are a few pads, a few leads, and some programmed beats for whatever the service might need.
The setup works well for me. The only addition I might make would be for a Nord Electro in place of the CX-3, because I’d get a good B3 sound plus good electric pianos to boot. I’m not a fan of the S90′s Rhodes or other piano sounds. But I was also thinking of just getting a virtual instrument for those sounds too.
This is just an overview, and I’ll probably get into specifics as I go. Please let me know if there is anything you’d like to hear about. I’d love some conversation on this!