Just was curious. We are wanting to purchase a keyboard that is the church's. Right now our keyboard player is bringing his own. But there is always the chance that he is going to be gone and no keyboard available.

I don't want to be told what we should get. I was just curious what other churches are using, and what the pros and cons are of it.


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My first keyboard was a Roland JX-10, which I sold a few months ago, after twenty years of superb service.  Its sounds were extremely primitive by today's standards -- but you could program it from the ground up with a special programming unit, building tone almost like an organ (I am an organist, so it jives with my personality).  The best feature was a panel of fully adjustable tones, two rows A-H and 1-8, giving you 64 instantly accessible sounds.  The tones didn't cut off while you were changing, and you could change B-2 to C-2 just by touching "C", not both buttons.  The thing still worked even when it was so used that the LED's had mostly quit lighting up.  The operator could open it up and clean the contacts.  Marvelous instrument, so user-friendly.

Those keyboards I've experienced more recently, such as the Yamaha S-80, are ferociously difficult to program, and clumsy for changing tonalities, even with the S's four-channel "mixer."  Sure, you can do all of these wondrous things, but you'd have to quit your day job to have the time to create the sounds.  Is there anything out there that just has good sounds you can mix?  A few years ago, I tried out a Sony thing with four banks of sounds, four sliders and four readouts so you KNEW WHAT YOU WERE PLAYING.  Does anything like that exist now?

Thats interesting that you are using a $2500 keyboard (RD-700) for drum beats and kits. Especially if that is all it is used for. That is the keyboard that David Crowder plays. Just was interesting.
There are two of us playing keys. I brought my Alesis QS8 and it stays at church (I got tired of hauling it back and forth - it's heavy). It has a very nice action, the pianos and rock organ sounds are very nice. I programmed some layered pad sounds that do what I need. From that keyboard, I also trigger a Yamaha FS1R rack unit. That module produces most of the wispy/atmospheric/choir-type sounds. The combination is very nice.

The worship pastor switches between keys and acoustic guitar. His keyboard is a Roland XV88 (I think that's the correct model #). He sticks with the piano/pad combinations. It can do much more than that, but it does that very well.

Generally, church keyboards are only used for piano emulation. At least, when I visit other churches, that's all I hear. My worship pastor is very cool about me using whatever sounds I want. He and I always coordinate our sound selections to complement each other.
You're right about the Alesis QS8 being heavy. I leave it set up at the church. I used to take it to the prison when we went to minister but that is a long walk from the salley port to the place we would meet - especially when no one else wants to help tote it.

I like using the Alesis because of the weighted keys and the sounds are good. I haven't, as of yet, really played around with it alot to see what all it can do. I really should take the time to do so.
We have an old Hammond organ. Very tempermental - it requires a warmup period before it stays in tune. It also takes 2 guys to move it. It's been suggested that we replace it with a new keyboard but the response has always been that if it still works, why the need to replace it? Keep in mind that our church (>30 years old) only started worshiping with electric guitar, bass and drums about 4 years ago, and contemporary music about 2 years prior to that.
I understand that. Was down that road in ministry years ago.
I use the Yamaha p-120. It has the best piano sound and feel of any keyboard and I've used them all.

If you are looking to purchase keyboard. I just spent 4 years looking and waiting for the right ones to come out. Most of the keyboard musicians have switched to the Roland X8 or X7. If you want 88 weighted you get the X8, and if you need the lighter version for traveling you can get the 76 keys X7. I just purchased the X7 last summer. It is great. It is great! I had the X8 at the church and X7 for travel because it is lighter and not as heavy for me to carry. But if you want the a stationary get the X8.

Went to a musicians conference, and almost all of the keyboard players were using it.

KORG does have a new one that is remotely comparable, but think that the Roland sounds all around are better and more real. I guess it all comes down to what you need and how much you can spend. But traveling like I do, I see that most high profile bands are using the Roland X8 or X7 now. They are exactly the same, they do have memory and recording options, and have an internal mixer. There is a lot that I have not done with it yet.

Have fun in your search!

I wasn't sure if I should continue this old thread or start a new one...

We're looking for a new keyboard for general use, for possibly replacing our acoustic piano, for possibly moving into some contemporary worship.

Briefly, I've heard a lot of great comments about the Yamaha s90xs and would like comments on how the features of this instrument would be utilized in a worship setting.




We use a Roland RD700SX.  Prior to that it was an old loaned Roland.


As has been said - quite good as a basic instrument.  Down side is that we need the PA switched on to get any sound (all electric run off the same circuit) and not everyone knows how to switch on the power...


We tend to use just piano/electric piano/pads/strings and often we need to take out some of the bass frequencies on the EQ to avoid a 'roll around' with the bass guitar. 


I am sure it can do far more, but none of us have really spent time looking at the manual or trying - we tend to just plug and play, and what we have does the job!    

When it came time for my church to buy an electric piano, I got to pick it out. Went to the music store with my heart set on a Roland and left with a Yamaha P200. I have yet to find a keyboard that can match the realistic sound of pretty much all Yamahas. I've been using the P200 for almost 10 years and added an S90 a while back for the synth sounds and drum loops (we currently have no drummer). Nothing like rocking worship 80's style with a double-decker keyboard stand!

Lee, we use a Roland RD700SX then a RD700GX, which is great is you are a piano style player. Do you have a mixuture of players, and do some of them play other keyboards like an organ ?

The hammer action is fantastic and the piano sounds are very good. But, it is really not much chop if you want to play organ or something else though. Yes, it has those sounds and they are wonderful, but no good if you normally play organ etc.  Most churches will go a hammer action keyboard, but some players will prefer something like a Motif XF7, but it would be nice to have both though - in a perfect world that is.

I have checked out the Yamaha s70/s90 XS and it is a very nice board indeed. Negotiates similar to the motif, with the same engine under the hood.But, set up to be a 'performance style' hammer action board. Small things like they have a transpose key in plain view and vocalizer etc., with an input for a mic into the keyboard - great if you are a singer/ leader.



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