New to music, want two keyboards for 5 beginners to share

Jan 9, 2018
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Hi. I am trying to steer my kids into learning more about music and making it, for hobby and family education. Personally, I'd like a keyboard I can use to mix simple sound bits and audio sounds into files for a low budget film I'm writing. I am leaning toward buying two digital pianos or keyboards that are portable and have these features if possible to have all of them. When I look online I see all types available and I haven't found a good place that tells me comparisons so I know how one is different from the other, benefits, etc.

Would anyone be able to suggest a digital portable piano keyboard with all of these features I list below? I would buy two of them so my kids and I can both share to learn and compose music as a hobby. I'd like to stick to $1,000 each. And, maybe I should not buy two of the same, due to some reasons I'm not aware of? If you think it would be best to buy two different portable digital keyboard/pianos please let me know and why.

After they learn enough musical talent I don't want to limit the kids from being able to play a real piano but I also don't honestly think any are going to go that route. So whatever features can mimic that of a full sized piano I'd like to have on the digital keyboards I buy, but this isn't necessary if not practical to meet our other needs.


Features to have:
1. 88 keys
2. built in digital recorder
3. built in speakers
4. portable
5. under $1,000 each
6. play many or most sounds of other instruments and several dozen voices
7. split key?
8. can talk to computer via USB or other means
9. mixing capability of sound from externally recorded sources?
10. built in Arranger
Sep 6, 2017
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Lancashire, UK.

Quite a task you have there as some of your requirements will be difficult to realise.

Lets start with arrangers, Yamaha make the bulk of them and prices go from $100 to $3500 but they do not have 88 keys. If you drop the 88 keys then a great arranger is the Korg PA700 or Yamaha S770, or Roland EA7

Workstations are generally stand alone and require a seperate amplifier, they are very suited to live performance and its a workstation you will see used in bands. Check out Roland DS61 which would be a great compromise but you would require more kit to go with it.

Digital piano, gives full 88 keys but some are limited in sound content and features. There are literary dozens of different ones available.

The Korg PA700 arranger that I referred to above is more than your $1000 but it contains nearly all of what you want and it is a brand new model with superb features, great sounds and dozens of inbuilt songs. Check out Korg PA700 Video Manual series on Youtube for details of what the keyboard can do. It is a keyboard that would give years of service whereas a much cheaper Yamaha would be outgrown within a couple of years.

I am sure others will comme along with far more detailed advice than my humble offerings.
Dec 25, 2012
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FWIW ---

I think a Casio PX-350 or PX-360 ticks all the boxes. And I think it's within budget. It's the only "arranger keyboard" I've ever played; auto-accompaniment, auto-chording, auto-harmonization. Check the manual for details. There's a "Line In", but no "Mic In".

"Portable" -- it's at the minimum weight for a "88 weighted keys" instrument, about 25 pounds. Too heavy to carry to the beach, acceptable for loading into the car, and getting it on stage. You'll also want a double-braced X-stand (or something more solid).

. Charles


Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
May 30, 2012
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GTA, Canada
Assuming your budget is $1000 USD each, I'd say take a look at the Roland Juno DS88.

It'll handle all of your requirements and then some.

Gary ;)

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