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This is a fun subject to cover as twenty one pilots have built such an iconic name in the last 7-8 years now. One of the unique and great things about the duo is that they have a super unique keyboard setup. I personally think their stage plot is one of the coolest there is in the live music world.
However, I also think they have very unique synthesizer sounds. I want to talk about the keyboards that Tyler uses and get into why.
It is my opinion that it isn’t always the keyboards you own, but how you use them. Tyler knows how to get the sounds he wants and knows how to do it at the very highest level. I don’t believe he gets enough credit for the music producer he is.
Tyler Joseph uses a hollowed out piano shell as his keyboard stand. I will get into which one it is below. Now, he uses a fair amount of VST’s when the band records and runs them through a bunch of different pedal chains. I will also mention some of these below.
Yamaha SO8 – The Piano Tyler Joseph Plays
This is the keyboard that he uses as his piano for basically every live performance. It is a reliable keyboard, but it is also on the older spectrum for Yamaha. As he uses this just for his piano sounds, it isn’t very important what he chooses to use. It’s more so just something that gets the job done and is tour reliable for him.
They don’t sell this keyboard anymore since it is a bit dated. However, Yamaha makes a better digital piano now called the Yamaha CP40. You can check it at the link above on Amazon with some user reviews.
MIDI Controller With VSTs
This is Tyler’s most used instrument. Dating back to the early days, Tyler has been crushing the game with VST’s and he also had a big influence on a lot of keyboardists to go this route. VST stands for virtual studio technology. It is an audio plug-in that you use to access millions of different sounds essentially.
The MIDI controller that he uses is the Roland A-49 for a lot of live performances.
The VST’s that I know he uses for sure is Nexus2. This is a very popular VST that has been used by many bands, but they use it in a great way for texture and leads.
Dave Smiths Instruments Prophet Rev 2
This keyboard is somewhat new to Tyler’s collection, but I know this was used for arpeggiators on “Trench.” A lot of those analog beautiful sounding patches came from this I would assume. This is really a staple in the music community right now as it is an 8 voice poly analog synthesizer.
Dave Smith products are being used all of the world now and this is just another example.
This is the keytar that Tyler used to use for live performance. I don’t believe he has used this in years now, but I always thought this thing looked super cool. It doesn’t have great sounds and is merely more of a cool looking instrument for him to play live.
Clavia Nord Lead 2 Synth
I am purposely not the biggest Nord fan. I believe that some of the modern-day products are starting to take over, especially MIDI controllers. With this being said, my opinion doesn’t matter.
Tons of people love Nord and love this product. I would take it in a heartbeat don’t get me wrong. But, I would take a lot of synths in a heart-beat as well.
This is typically used for classic lead sounds. Brandon Flowers of The Killers has been known to play this same keyboard too. You can view Brandon Flowers keyboard setup here.
I believe that with enough time, you can learn to use all instruments at a very high level of skill. Obviously, Tyler is an extremely gifted, musician, but everyone starts somewhere.
One thing to note is that he often uses VST’s in his songs. Here are some of my favorite organ VSTs in 2020.
Find a keyboard and stick with it. There will be thousands of things you can do with it and often times knowing how to get the sounds you want is going to be the most important thing in music. If you found this information on the twenty one pilots keyboard setup intriguing or you can add more, please do below!
He now has a Nord Lead 4, shown on instagram
Thanks Kalvin, I will update this!