What keyboards did Prince use?
For his first few records, Prince used typical keyboard instruments of the late 1970s, including a Oberheim 4 Voice, a Moog Polymoog 203a, a Moog Minimoog, an Arp Pro Soloist, an Arp String Ensemble a Hohner Clavinet and a Fender Rhodes.
From Dirty Mind onward, Prince pared back his set up and focused on synthesizers and pianos. His primary synthesizers around this time were the Oberheim OB-X, and the Arp Omni-2. He would acquire each new Oberheim OB (OB-Xa, OB-SX, OB-8) as it was released although he would continue using the older models. He also used acoustic pianos and the Yamaha CP-70 and 80.
Prince first used the Yamaha DX7 on Purple Rain, and he then used more digital synthesizers on subsequent albums, alongside the Oberheim OB series. Around The World In A Day saw the introduction of the Kurzweil K250 and Ensoniq Mirage and Parade saw the introduction of the Fairlight CMI. By the Sign O The Times album, his main keyboards were the Fairlight, Ensoniq Mirage and the new Sequential Circuits Prophet VS. He also used a Hammond B3 organ on Sign O The Times.
For Lovesexy, Prince used a Roland D-50, an E-mu Emax and an Ensoniq ESQ-1. Around this time, Prince got more into sampling, using a Publison IM90 Infernal Machine as his main sampler. The D-50 remained his main studio keyboard until at least the Love Symbol album. In the mid 1990s, he also used a Roland JV-80 and Roland JD-800.
For Emancipation, Prince introduced the Clavia Nord Lead synthesizer, a "virtual analog" keyboard that emulated his older analog synthesizers. He also returned to his Oberheim OB-8 on Newpower Soul and Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic.
From the early 2000s onward, Prince's preferred keyboards were a Fender Rhodes and the Yamaha Motif series. He also used a Moog Minimoog Voyager for 20ten and Art Official Age.
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