Keith Emerson Piano Solo

Keith Emerson plays an amazing keyboard solo at the Montreax festival in 1997.

   Keith Emerson is one of the best keyboard showmen in all of live music. He’s not just a proficient keyboard player, his appeal really lies in his ability to combine showmanship with ability. Keith really has a unique keyboard playing style which is very percussive. He has fast hands and can play very technical classical music. As I said, he doesn’t just sit there and dazzle you with his keyboard playing skill. In concert he has been known to jam knives into his Hammond organ to hold down specific keys while he plays. He’s been seen jumping over his keyboard and tipping it upside down and playing it in that position. He’s never been afraid to experiment and express music with simple sound manipulation. His Moog Synthesizer solo on the ELP song “Lucky Man” put synthesizer playing front and center in popular music.

   In this clip, he’s playing a piano solo at the Montreaux festival in 1997. It’s a jazz festival and the progressive players really seem to step it up at this particular event. It’s fun to watch Keith as he just can’t resist doing zany things during the solo like playing a few hits with his elbow. That particular move’s musical relevance within the solo is questionable but the showmanship aspect of it is undeniable. That’s Keith Emerson in a nutshell. Watch this clip and you’ll get a little bit of understanding into what makes Keith tick.     Continue reading “Keith Emerson Piano Solo”

M-Audio Keystation 88es MIDI Keyboard Controller Review

The M-Audio Keystation 88es is an excellent USB powered MIDI Keyboard controller solution for your computer audio needs.

M-Audio Keystation 88es
M-Audio Keystation 88es

   This week on Live Musician Central I’ve been talking about creating a keyboard setup built around the incredible Reason Music Production Software by Propellerhead. Obviously the most essential component to have in addition to the software is a MIDI Keyboard Controller. Today I’m going to tell you about an extremely affordable MIDI Keyboard Controller that is built specifically for interfacing with a computer and Reason music software. The keyboard I’m going to discuss today is the M-Audio Keystation 88es.      Continue reading “M-Audio Keystation 88es MIDI Keyboard Controller Review”

Propellerhead Reason 4 Introduction Video

Introductory videos for Reason 4.0 Music Production Software by Propellerhead.

   Yesterday on Live Musician Central I wrote about how much I love Reason 4.0 Music Production Software. It’s by far the easiest program I’ve found that will allow you to tap into your creative muse with keyboard based music. Today I’m going to post a couple videos from YouTube which will give you an introduction into the functionality of Reason 4.0 music production software. The demonstration is done on an apple Macintosh but Reason functions exactly the same way on a P.C. which is what I use. Reason really is worth every penny to add it to your software collection.     Continue reading “Propellerhead Reason 4 Introduction Video”

Propellerhead Reason 4 Music Production Software Review

Reason 4 music production software is a must have software for all modern keyboard players. It’s invaluable in your home studio as well.

Reason 4.0 Rack Front
Reason 4.0 Rack Front

   When I started playing in live bands the hottest synthesizer on the market was the Yamaha DX7. Back then it was great to have a keyboard that could play lots of notes simultaneously and do a decent job of sounding like the instrument it was emulating. Most keyboard players brought multiple keyboards to the gigs and there was a lot of setup time involved. I remember spending hours working on the perfect soundpatches for my Roland keyboards. The thing about playing keyboards is you can never have too many sound options. It was an expensive proposition to be a keyboard player as it would cost the player thousands of dollars to get the necessary equipment to play in a live band. The dream was to have racks of synthesizer modules at your disposal to create the incredible soundscapes that you could hear in your head. But only the top paid musicians could afford to live that dream. The rest of us had to make do with whatever synthesizer equipment we could afford. It’s amazing how times have changed with the development of incredibly powerful, software based synthesizers like those found in Reason 4.0.

   If you’ve never heard of Reason which is developed by Propellerhead it’s basically a virtual studio rack into which you can load mixers, effects and synthesizer modules. If the equipment that you have access to in Reason 4.0 was sitting in a rack in your studio it would cost you thousands and thousands of dollars. You can place multiple copies of the same equipment into the rack to work with for sound creation. So if you want 15 analog synthesizers to work with, you got it. The virtual rack is infinitely expandable as long as your computer is powerful enough to run all the devices you can load into it. What types of devices can you load? Reason 4.0 comes with synthesizers, samplers, drum machines, REX file loop player, mixers, vocoder, studio effects, mastering tools, pattern sequencers and more! It’s amazing how many devices come in this software package. If you have the urge to load 11 compressors and 10 samplers with 5 synthesizers, you can do it. You can chain as many mixers together as you wish to mix all of your devices. You can keep adding gear until your computer chokes but it will take a lot to do that as Reason 4.0 is quite conservative on your system.

Continue reading “Propellerhead Reason 4 Music Production Software Review”