Music Composers Unite!
Wouldn't it be better to just upgrade your computer? With a keyboard you'll be paying for a lot more than the sounds and you'll have less flexibility.
If you mean to take your sounds on the road then a keyboard would be better although most people would hook up to a laptop with their sounds.
Thanks Michael. For my studio setup I've got a quad core Mac Pro with 24 GB ram. I'm considering purchasing another Mac Pro and running them sync'd up together... or getting one of the new Mac Pro computers that is the equivalent power.
I'm considering options.
One thing I like about the idea of a keyboard with a library of high quality sounds... is I can access them fast without any loading.. and play things in quickly...... I would even like one which has all the extras on it.. even a small midi pad surface with 8 to 16 pads I could use to play in percussion. Of course there are other options for that too.
Coming up I have a 30 x 45 minute episode TV drama (to complete in 6 to 12 months).. 25 episode kids cartoon series.. and possibly another cartoon series.
I need to get some upgrades in, like you said. And I also need to be mindful of fast solutions... I need to be playing things in as I'm watching, with as little delays and pauses as possible.
I'm exploring what's out there to see what might work the best.
I am also developing a live set with my brother VJ'ing where I'll be playing 2 keyboards with an AKAI APC 40, Korg Kaoss Pad, Ableton Live, Micro Korg, Mic, guitar, macbookpro etc.. It's more cinematic/beats/ambient/spoken word style sounds and visuals than 'party music'. So I want to take some of the load off the MBP.
I also need a new keyboard anyway, the one I have now works pretty well as a controller.. 88 weighted keys.. it's a second hand Casio I got for around £100/$170. (I left my Yamaha PF80 and Roland RS9 in the UK, as the shipping cost much more with those).
I just got the Kawai MP7 digital piano controller. I'll be using it mostly just as a DAW controller but it does have some nice patches. It has a pretty good tone wheel organ sound and onboard drawbars. It's recording transport controls can be set to trigger another board or your DAW host transports and the top key sensor of the three for the key bed can be set to sort of simulate an organ waterfall key action. $1799 street.
Have you looked at the popular Casio Priva-5S piano controller keyboard? It has a good piano key bed, a very good piano sound and lots of other sounds once you learn how to access them and at $999 and weighing just 25 pounds with the option of cordless 4 hour battery operation it's a gigging musicians dream.
You might also look at the Korg Kross or Korg Krome boards and for more money the Kurzweil Artis looks quite nice. It's just loaded with great patches.
I have substantial experience with Yamaha s90ES - it's a professional 88 key keyboard with about 1000 virtual instruments on-board. Today the next step is the flagship Yamaha Motif XF and its less expensive version Yamaha MOXF, which has equivalent to XF sound set but does not contain features to sample new sounds.
Edit: In these keyboards you can create so called "Multi", which is a set of 16 instruments (from the 1000-2000 on-boars instruments), which can be played simultaneously from the keyboard; you just press a singe key to switch to another instrument;; all 16 may sound polyphonic-ally.
Also, just today I stumbled upon a very interesting new concept of touch-sensitive keyboard: