22 November, 2008

An open answer to psw about Korg Nanokey durability.

Following my previous post psw asks-
“Dammit, this is just what I was worried about with the NanoKey...ever since seeing the official product images where you can see that the keys aren't aligned perfectly...

Do the keys easily pop back into place at least, or is it a catastrophic failure?

I want the black set of these Nano controllers so bad I'll probably get them all anyway and just not use the keyboard one much...how dumb is that?

Also why in the hell didn't they put a USB port on each of these and include short little cables so they could be daisy-chained? They would eat up all the USB ports on a laptop and having them running off an external hub seems to defeat the whole aesthetic of the cool little controllers, to me at least...”

As for the popping keys- it happened twice quite easily (don’t believe Ruddess who’s playing the Nano with sticks…- give me a break!).
The key just popped out.
Now, I figured out the hard way that there’s a way of putting these back as they were. However on your trial and error endeavours, you may find that you already broke it.
Another point is that you may pull out the nano from your bag to find that some bits are left in your bag…
The rubber contact just rests under the key and therefore may get lost pretty easily.

The concept is definitely good but I’m sure Yamaha would have done it much better.
As for your question why didn’t they put another USB socket at the other end of the unit, I guess they just assume that by the time you’ve plugged the other unit, the NanoKey would already be broken!

16 November, 2008

Nanokey review

Well Korg has done it again. Another flimsy piece of shit.
It took about two extra minutes of playing after the video from last week was taken before 2 keys popped out.
As you can see, I’m not exactly bashing the keys, and still the keyboard couldn’t take it.
I guess the difference between my Nano and Jordan Rudess’ is that he can pull out another one out of his drawer.
Fortunately the Nano in my video was borrowed. I’m still looking for a tiny, no frills keyboard to plug in to my laptop. There’s something in the pipeline. Will let you know next week.
Until then here’s another deceiving video of the Nano’s durability.
Jordan over to you.

09 November, 2008

New Shepitology video- Korg nanoKey

Me making a quick loop in FLstudio with the Korg nanoKey.
Using FPC for drums, V-Station for bass, Sytrus for arp’ed pad and SQ8L for Moog lead. Octave shifts and pitch bends are also done with little guy.
My overall impressions are quite good. It does miss the odd key press if you don’t hit it exactly at the center. Also make sure you put it on a flat surface for better control.
For the size it is incredible.

31 October, 2008

Shepitology Scoop! Korg Nano controllers also available in black

I’m not sure which one's nicer- the black or the white. Maybe one of each…?

To be available later this year.

29 October, 2008

Customized Korg poly800II

Found this a while back.

Someone chopped a Korg poly800II and made a questionable new midi module out of it.

"Serious mod done as you can see to convert it to a stand alone desktop MIDI contolled synth module and finished in a shocking bright orange. 2 extra pots on the front for the "moog slayer" filter cut and resonance speaker blowing ear bleeding mod. This is a serious mod and should be used with extreme caution when uping the resonance setting in the presets"

Looked good until I got to the plastic tape bit.

"Had a few questions about the case. This is not the standard case. It has been made from the original full size case, cut down and joined in the middle. Bottom has a piece of tape covering the end where there is a gap but this cant be seen and is just for cosmetics and is not holding it together"

It sold for £93.70

Jordan Rudess rockin' hard on the nanoKEY

It’s just been my birthday for which I got a Behringer UMA25S.
It took me less than 24 hours to send it back. While it is very robust to the level of stiffness actually, the pitch bend wheel would go only up to 50% of what it should. Now while you could reprogram every midi device you got to work with this, why bother? I much prefer waiting for the Nanokey. I was concerned about playability but this video cut the deal for me. It also costs half the price of the Behringer.

04 October, 2008

New MIDI keyboard controller from “Fame”(?)

I found out about the KX61C on the internet and couldn’t find much to read about it, other than a bit in German. Doesn’t look exciting by any means, but we love discovering new makes, don’t we?

Kaossilator Japanese commercial

I don't have much to add, but to say that I got one of these for the special needs school I work for, and it's fantastic for disabled people. Saying that, other than the gimmick, I can't find much interest in it...

07 September, 2008


No signs for the new Rhodes.
Will it ever come out?
It’s interesting because exactly 10 years ago I decided that I’d like to have one but then found out that they’re going to relaunch a newer, sexier Rhodes any time soon. 10 years later there’s only hype videos every NAMM show but no piano.
Until then you could go for this refurb if you have £2600-

How much would you pay for an 88 controller?

You probably noticed that Shepitology has been idle recently (for the passing last year…). Where are the glory days of July 06 where I’d post twice a day. Well I’m busy and also ran a bit out of things to say. But I still try to water this blog every once in a while. So keep on checking, yes?
Here’s another interesting ‘bay scenario.
You advertise at the right section, give the right details and check out once it’s finished how the item has faired, only to find that your CHEETAH 88 Note Midi Semi Weighted Controller Keyboard Sold for £1.24!!!
Will use reserve next time…

03 August, 2008

Was this guy joking????

Found this on eBay and among the titles I came up with as optional for this post were “WTF?” and “the craziest eBay auction”.
This is a kid’s mini keyboard (a fore-father of the upcoming Korg nanoKeys…?)
It seems cute and crap sounding…
All is well until you notice that he wanted £2000 for it!
I’d think that the fate of this auction is quite clear.

Some nice Moogfest 2007 video coverage

I don’t know if anyone is aware of this bunch of videos from Electronic Musician website, but these 3 clips are quite interesting.
They cover interviews with the musicians, gear-talk and some performances of Neil Alexander and Nail, Herb Deutsch, Erik Norlander, Jordan Rudess, and Thomas Dolby.
I’ve recently purchased in HMV the Moogfest 2006 DVD which made me happy as I had to miss that concert (being in the UK with work duties). I thought that that specific concert should have been particularly good as some of my ex-heroes were playing there (Keith Emerson and Jan Hammer) and some others I wouldn’t mind watching (Jordan Rudess).
In reality it seems like it was a loooong evening with some very lame performances from the Cure's incompetent Roger O'Donnell and surprisingly from Bernie Worrell who played a single 15 mins track that contained no music (and was played on a Kurzweil not Moog!).
There’s some good bits as well though- mainly Jan Hammer and Rudess.
For £10 it was okay. For £750 (inc. flight tickets and accommodation..) It could have pissed me off a bit…

06 July, 2008

New Shepitology video- Jamming in C on the Prophet '08

Here’s the next video in my Prophet ’08 series. This was just your average, scale-running jam on the keys. The original jam was longer but for some reason when I imported it to the crap-worthy Windows Movie Maker, some of it wasn’t there.
Nothing much to add. The background loop in C is from the mictoX and the P08 runs through the Korg miniKP for some reverb and LFO based phaser effect.

29 June, 2008

New Shepitology video- Africa on the Prophet’08.

Turnkey closed down and it really broke my heart, not because I care about their business or their useless sales people, but just like everybody else, for me this was the place to check new keyboards thoroughly without being pestered by a frustrated seller. Same can be said about the deceased Soundcontrol which was an expensive shop where all items I bought from were always returned as they were faulty. It was great though as the biggest synth show room in London, though.

Anyway I happened to be rehearsing around the corner from Turnkey when they had their big sale and I scored a Korg MicroX and a DSI Prophet ’08 for ridiculous prices (…it still wasn’t as cheap as I wanted).
So here we are a month later with a short video of me playing Toto’s Africa on a brass patch. Not sure why I did it, but you guys really seem to enjoy synth porn (me to but it’s always too much work to make it).
My overall impressions? Well it sounds good and is fun to twiddle with. The keyboard is a bit stiff but has got a very good aftertouch response.
There’s another video on its way (already done- so no empty promises here) but more details in next week’s post.

01 June, 2008

And speaking of Yamaha

Another worthless gem from the trenches of the 80’s, here’s a complete Yamaha CX5m system which includes the following-
  • YK-10 Music Keyboard
  • SFG-05 II FM unit with Box and Manual
  • SFG-01 original FM Sound Synthesizer Unit
  • YRM-102 FM Voicing Program (x2)
  • YRM-103 DX7 Voicing Cartridge
  • YRM-501 FM Music Composer II
  • D.M.S.1 Real-Time Recorder Cartridge with Box and User Guide.
  • D.M.S.1 MK2 16 Track Midi Sound Recorder with Box, no Manual.
  • NP55140 Power Supply

This system is not as attractive as it may initially seem as the midi module inside could not be played through a MIDI keyboard (although the computer has a Midi In port for sysex transmission…!) and anyway it’s basically an equivalent of the awful DX9.