In the latest video, I demonstrate my full keyboard setup. Please note that I rarely use all this gear at once. I usually get by with one keyboard, two small MIDI controllers, and software. Here’s what I use for different situations:
1) Playing primary keyboard parts: Yamaha S80 for piano and Rhodes, MIDI out to Mainstage 2 for pads, strings, and effects. This approach is detailed in my Mainstage videos.
2) Playing secondary keyboard parts (synths, organ, strings, etc.): Mainstage 2 sounds played from Roland XP-80.
3) Playing primary or secondary keys and also playing key bass with my left hand. In these situations when our bass player is absent, I usually have the S80 on the bottom tier and XP-80 on the top. The XP-80 has a bass expansion card and I use a John Patatuchi sample with a line running out of the keyboard and into a bass amp and cabinet.
There are two items I always have: 1) an Akai LPD8 to call up and adjust sounds within Mainstage, and 2) an M-audio O2 to trigger and control backing tracks within Ableton Live.
In the video, I also show an alternate setup – one that’s more simple and economical – based around a Roland A-90.
All the cable connections are pretty well explained in the video. For a PDF diagram of all the gear and how it connects, click here.