Keyboards and Gear - Video Reviews


happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
7,870
Reaction score
3,322
Location
GTA, Canada
I'm proposing we make this thread a sticky....

Just to give newbies an overview of what's out there...

Fell free to post any youtube or personal reviews you might think would be helpful to others....

The begin... 3 Pianos under 400 UK Pounds.... Blindfold test....


And another blindfold comparison...


And here's an in depth unboxing and review of the Roland RD-2000


Gary ;)
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
1,635
Reaction score
1,145
Location
Lancashire, UK.
Great idea Gary.

I see newbies go into a Music Store and they are overwhelmed by what is available and more than likely they will be steered towards a Yamaha/Casio beginner Arranger keyboard or to a Yamaha or Casio digital piano.

Hence why I wrote and have posted a few times what follows which is my take on keyboards and what does what.
.
.
Do you want to play a Piano or Keyboard?

That is the question my Teacher asked when I took up playing keys after years with a guitar and bass.

He qualified it by stating, there is a difference in how I teach you and in how you will develop.

Piano.
At its most basic level LH plays the Bass lines and chords, RH plays the melody.

Independent LH & RH playing actions will need to be developed.

A Digital Piano is just that 88 weighted keys with a variety of Piano sounds to call upon to be used, other sounds can also be incorporated within the unit.

Keyboard.
Two basic types, Workstation and Arranger.

Both start with 61 keys and as the models increase in complexity and cost 76 key and 88 keys versions become available as budget increases.

Each type of unit has hundreds if not thousands if instrument sounds that can be used as an example there can easily be over thirty different types of Piano sounds available to be selected.

Workstation.

Highly customisable, often with inbuilt recording, looping, and the ability to set sequence patterns of sounds that can be called upon at the touch of a button.

Usually over one thousand instrument sounds available to be used.

Orchestral sounds can be built up by layering one instrument on top of another to produce a Combination that can be saved into a User area and assigned to a Favourite button.

Watch a Band and the person on keys will probably be playing a Workstation, if they have more than one unit then a digital Piano is likely to be there unless your name is Rick Wakeman then the number of keyboards he uses is often in excess of ten.

Arranger.

A keyboard that typically incorporates onboard amplification and speakers for a fully self contained unit.

Instrument sounds or voices are categorised into families with typically thirty specific instrument sounds available.

These keyboards include Auto Accompanying of styles that are or can be triggered by the left hand.

The keyboard is electronically split (adjustable and can be switched off) so the Accompanying sounds are played with the LH and RH plays, melody lines, arpeggiated chords, improvisation, melody accompanying lines, syncopations etc.

A beginner to keyboards will probably start off learning on a low value Yamaha or Casio unit and then progress to more complex keyboard.

Synthesizer.

Is an electronic sound generator, it can be a keyboard or non keyboard model.

With all the above keyboard types, there is a considerable degrees of overlap and incorporation of functions within each category.

The choice of which type will be best for you is dependent upon what you want to play, the style and long term plans.

If you have doubts or just want to dip ones toes in then an Arranger will probably be the best unit to go for. With the auto accompaniment feature it will enable you to produce music relatively quickly.

Technicals

Polophony, this is the number of different instrument sounds that a keyboard can play at the same time.

Styles, there are hundreds of presets arrangements including in an Arranger keyboard, each Style will have a specific number of musical instrument sounds included and when the Style is initiated it will provide sounds and rhythm related to a music genre like dance, r n b, waltz, rock, ballad etc

Songs, some keyboards have a specific style, rhythm and instrument sounds that are intended to produce a sound similar to a popular song such as Ed Sheeran’s Thinking out loud, John Lennon’s Imagine, Elvis Presley The Wonder of You, Glenn Miller Moonlight Serenade etc songs that span many decades of music to cater for all ages.

Sustain pedal, a foot operated on/off switch that if it is pressed and held as a key or keys are pressed the note(s) continue to sound until the pedal is released.

Recording

Most keyboards have the ability to record your performance, the degree of flexibility and editing capabilities does vary substantially. That said a substantial number can be connected to a PC/MAC where audio recording software can record your performance but taking recording to another level is software known as a DAW where you can create a multi layered track, each with full individual recording and editing capabilities, many good DAWs are freeware.

Virtual Instruments

A MIDI keyboard controller, DAW software and a whole series of software instrument sounds can give a very capable Recording Studio in its own right. This setup can also provide a very economical entry into keyboard playing for the computer literate.

General advice

Keyboard manufacturers have online manuals available to download for current and older keyboards therefore it can be useful to read said manual to help gain an understanding of a specific keyboards features.

Keyboard manufacturers also have Video Tutorials online which can give a good grounding on the features and on using a specific keyboard.

Online reviews vary from excellent to dire so do take them with a pinch of salt, if any start with, wassup, then move on to another video.

Be flexible in your choices as what you think will be the best keyboard for you does not necessarily relate that it is the one for you.

Do not get hung up on a particular manufacturers products.

Yamaha produce some excellent keyboards but they produce very cheap ones to get learners locked into the brand, but their tutorials and customer support are almost non existent. Their higher end learner keyboards and their top of the range Arranger are the standards others have to match or better.

Within a specific price band the capabilities of different manufacturers products are very similar.

Keyboards to consider

Beginner/improver keyboard
Yamaha PSR E series
Roland Gokeys/Gopiano
Korg EK 50 entertainer
Casio CTK series

Arranger
Korg PA700/1000
Roland EA7
Korg PA4X
Yamaha Genos
Yamaha PSR S700 series or 900 series
Casio CT X series

Workstation/Synth
Korg Kross 2
Roland Juno DS61

Workstation
Roland FA 067/8
Korg Kronos
Korg Krome
Yamaha MODX

Digital Piano
Nord Stage
Yamaha P series
Roland RD
Casio CDP series

MIDI controller keyboards
Novation Launchkey
Arturia Keylab Essential
Native Instrument Komplete Kontrol.

If in doubt do feel free to ask, especially in a Music Store where they will want your business and all the repeat purchases. A local store will or should try to match online sales and by supporting your local store you are supporting a local resource for your learning.
 
Ad

Advertisements

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
7,870
Reaction score
3,322
Location
GTA, Canada
I also see this as a thread where you can post reviews of some of your favorite gear as a recommendation to others.

Let's leave the tutorial links to the Tutorials Forum shall we?

Here's a few interesting gear reviews I've seen the past couple of years for stuff which is still current.






Gary ;)
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
1,635
Reaction score
1,145
Location
Lancashire, UK.
KORG KROSS 2.
No inane plonkers drooling over kit and trying to be hip/cool or whatever, just a straight demo and information direct from Korg’s Product Specialist.


ROLAND JUNO DS
Get past typical Andertons presentation and you get a balanced review of the keyboard

 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
1,635
Reaction score
1,145
Location
Lancashire, UK.
For most Newbies a Yamaha is more than likely going to be high on the list.

The starter series is the PSR E where the top of the range is this


Which is the only one I would suggest is considered.

An alternative is a Casio and their CT X series and at a similar price point to the Yamaha E463 is the Casio CT X3000

 

Rayblewit

Love Music / Love Life
Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
2,014
Reaction score
1,566
Location
Melbourne Australia
Just to give newbies an overview of what's out there...
I think they might be scared off!

In just two days, posted above is a flooding of videos. Overwhelming for a newbie.

Many of those vids are just too deep and offer too much information for newbies.

The thread a great idea but needs to be toned down I feel. The reviews are necessary when buying and learning all of the features etc . . but not like this. One can get lost in a maze.

I vote this thread needs streamlining and reworked.

Ray
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
7,870
Reaction score
3,322
Location
GTA, Canada
Newbies can be directed here as needed and browse as they see fit.

One of your first postings was a tutorial on how to play which is covered elsewhere. I see that one as superfluous.

Likewise your posting on differences of keyboard types, while on topic, is somewhat intense and long winded.

Perhaps we should stick strictly to video reviews as the the thread was intended.

Gary ;)
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2019
Messages
142
Reaction score
29




 

Rayblewit

Love Music / Love Life
Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
2,014
Reaction score
1,566
Location
Melbourne Australia
One of your first postings was a tutorial on how to play which is covered elsewhere. I see that one as superfluous.

Likewise your posting on differences of keyboard types, while on topic, is somewhat intense and long winded.
Not me! Wrong dude!

This is Ray . .
I suggest to Gary, that the idea is supreme. But imagine in a few weeks or months . . this thread will be lost in amongst the rest. If it was a sticky sure it would not be lost but would become a mess with no fomality. It would be a harbour of mish mash. Imagine a pier tethering cruise ships along side yachts, canoes, ferries . . All different and makes no sense.
To streamline it why not resrict it to other gear (not keyboards). Mixers, compuer software, stands, covers etc . .
As for keyboards, each brand forum to have its own sticky "reviews and previews"
Say if I wanted to buy the newest generation Yamaha Arranger then the obvious place to look for a preview would be under the Yamaha forum.
Say I saw a second hand Korg, I would want to see a review of it and obviously head to the Korg forum.

A sticky for each brand keyboard is my suggestion enhancing this smart thinking idea of Gary's.

Ray
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2019
Messages
142
Reaction score
29
A sticky for each brand keyboard is my suggestion enhancing this smart thinking idea of Gary's.
Need to add some brands, then : Arturia, Dexibell, Studiologic, ...
Although newbies won't even know about these brands.

Better create a new section called "Keyboards for dummies" or "Ask your stupid questions here" . I know I've asked some pretty dumb ones ;)
 
Ad

Advertisements

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
7,870
Reaction score
3,322
Location
GTA, Canada
First and foremost let's keep off topic messages confined to the Forum Suggestions thread I started.

Secondly, the thread can honestly manage itself. As time goes by and new gear comes on the market those items will find themselves at the end of the thread without any divine intervention.

Look at the "What are you listening to" thread. Nobody goes back and reads them all from the beginning unless they have a serious motive.

This thread is not only for newbs but for all of us to share the latest and greatest gear, but also a valuable resource for newbs.

So let's stay on topic and let the thread work itself out.

Gary ;)
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top