Need help choosing a the perfect gift!


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Hey all - help me out please to find the right keyboard as im not sure which one to get!


requirements are

61 weighted keys
microphone
built in speakers
computer connectivity
small sampler nothing big


looking at something that will last and no more than $1000
 
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Fred Coulter

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I'm not sure such a keyboard exists.

First, I'm not aware of any keyboard with only a five octave keyboard and weighed keys. Normally that's something found on piano sized keyboards (88 keys), and some seventy note keyboards.

Second, do you mean a microphone input jack, or do you mean a microphone built into the case?

Built in speakers limits your search to arrangers and electronic pianos. Nothing wrong with that, just thought you should know.

What do you mean by computer connectivity? Almost all computers can send and receive MIDI either through traditional MIDI cables or via USB. But what that means varies from keyboard to keyboard. Some will connect audio via USB, while others would require you to connect audio cables (and perhaps purchase an audio interface). Some can be modified directly by software and downloads, while others require a USB memory stick, while others can't be modified at all through external means.

A sampler could mean a variety of things. I think a bit more detail on what you're looking for here is necessary. Generally, onboard sampling capabilities are limited, especially at your purpose price range. It might be better to create and edit samples on the computer, then load them onto the keyboard.
 
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thanks! makes sense what you wrote and thats what im looking for; im learning about them so to clarify:

i guess i could do 70+ keys too but wanted to try to stay smaller

just mic input and ill setup a mic with stand separate

i didnt notice that so thanks!

ill make time to go to my local music shop to test some more out to see / feel the weighted vs semi weighted vs
 

happyrat1

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Built in speakers, mic input and 73 weighted keys doesn't exist anywhere.

If you're willing to live with 88 weighted keys and no built in speakers then the Roland Juno DS88 exists for about $1000 USD. It has a mic input and some sampling capability. If you want unweighted keys the DS61 offers the same thing in a smaller package for $699 USD. Neither of these has built in speakers.

If you insist on 73 weighted keys then you could look at Nord and Kurzweil stage pianos which are way out of your price range, have no speakers, no sampling and no mic inputs.

Gary ;)
 

SeaGtGruff

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If you're going to be connecting to the computer then you might not need a sampler built into the keyboard, because the keyboard could be used to play a sampler running on the computer, as well as other virtual instruments (i.e., computer programs that create the sounds of physical instruments).

On the other hand, if the person receiving the gift needs or wants to be able to use sampled sounds and expansion voices without having to be connected to a computer or laptop or tablet, then you'd probably want a built-in sampler or memory that can be used for adding new sound samples.

Be warned that many of the built-in samplers are rather basic in capability and functions-- as far as I know, they typically let you sample a sound, then they stretch or compress the sound waves in the sample to get different frequencies so the sample can be used across the width of the keyboard, which can be fun (like recording yourself saying "hello" and then playing it back as anything from a slow-talking basso profondo giant to a fast-talking chipmunk), but not very useful musically since sampling one note of a musical instrument and then applying it to 128 different MIDI note values doesn't yield very convincing results. It's much better to record a separate sample for each and every note, including sampling each note at multiple velocities, as well as being able to layer two or more samples together. To my knowledge, people who create their own sound samples generally use a computer to do all the hard work of recording and editing and layering the samples, then they create a soundfont or similar format that can be loaded into a keyboard as an expansion voice.

So (in my opinion) it's better to have a keyboard with memory and functions for loading new sound samples, as opposed to one that has built-in sampling functions. I'm sure there must be keyboards out there that do have built-in samplers plus sophisticated editing functions which rival the best sampling software for computers, but those keyboards are probably way out of your price range. ;)
 
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SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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I'm not up to snuff on the differences between weighted, semi-weighted, etc.

The Yamaha DGX-660 is under $1000 and has "Graded Hammer Standard" keys which are supposed to be piano-like in action and feel, although I don't think they're supposed to be as good as the ones on Yamaha's more expensive digital pianos. Anyway, the DGX-660 lets you connect a microphone for singing along. But it has 88 keys, not 61.

The new Casio Privia models look very GAS-worthy, especially the PX-560-- although that particular model is a bit over $1000.
 

Fred Coulter

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I was feeling stupid with your comment about the DGX-660. I assumed that there was almost no difference between the 660 and the 650 that I own. I was trying to remember why I didn't remember a microphone input on mine.

I was wrong. One of the differences is that the new one has a microphone input. The fact that mine doesn't probably makes the family very happy.

I feel less stupid.

However, the DGX-650 doesn't let you add sounds, so I doubt that the 660 will. And the OP was looking at playing samples.
 
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SeaGtGruff

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No, the DGX-660 doesn't have sampling, nor can it load externally-sampled voices-- although it can be used as a controller to play samples on a computer.
 

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