Needing help before buying my next keyboard

Jan 28, 2010
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Hey everyone,

I'm new to this site, but know there's quite a large knowledge-base here. Now I'm hoping to take advantage of your expertise. I'm in the market for a new keyboard, and while I'm not entirely sure what I do want, I'm fairly sure of what I don't want. Let me give a bit more info.

I'm looking for a keyboard that:
- Has 128-note polyphony (or as close to that as possible),

- Offers thick, vibrant and "alive" synth sounds while also offering good orchestral sounds (particularly strings and horns)

- Allows easy layering and key-splitting (without needing to delve into menu options, preferably with dedicated buttons for each feature),

- Arpeggiation/style/combi features that are independent from the patch being played (for example, I don't want to be locked into a particular style/arpeggiator for patch # x ... I want to be able to select patch/program x and then easily choose a style to go along with that patch, preferably without going into a menu).

- I'm not too concerned with on-board sequencing, as I'm planning to use the new Korg Sound on Sound recorder as a multi-track recorder.

My main gripe is a common theme I'm sensing in many keyboards: each style/combi seems to be pre-associated with a particular program/patch. For example, suppose I choose an "RnB" program patch, and the arpeggiation is automatically selected for an R&B style. What if I want the sounds of the instruments used in R & B, but to play those instruments in a different style? I'm sure there are options to change the settings, but the ones I've seen seem very menu-driven (something that I find impedes my workflow.) I'd like to have such features right at my fingertips instead.

The more I think about it, the more it seems like I'm leaning towards a stage-oriented instrument, where options and changes to layers, splits, and arpeggiators can be made quickly, on-the-fly and with minimal searching.

So, with all that in mind, I'm hoping to hear some of your suggestions of a suitable instrument for me, along with any pros/cons. I thank you all in advance, hope to hear your ideas soon!

Instruments on my shortlist:
Korg m50
Kurzweil PC3le6
Yamaha PSR S910
Yamaha S90XS


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