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Electronic Keyboard Buying Guide

Overview

The first thing you’ll notice is that they are normally much smaller, most having only 61 keys, as opposed to a full set of 88. The se keys are also much clearer when you press them so that a piano is much heavier. This is often called the action, which is why piano students are advised not to learn on an electronic keyboard. A keyboard will produce a range of different sounds, from pianos to organs, guitars to flutes, strings to drums, etc. Most will have more than 100 different sounds or voices, as they are often called. The y also offer collections of rhythms or drum patterns, sometimes called styles.

If you still feel that there are still some unanswered questions after reading the comments, we will answer the most common questions for beginners. Before you start reading, you need to keep in mind things like knowing who the keyboard is for (adult or child), what budget you have and whether you want to use some special features.

If you want to buy a keyboard, there are many factors to consider:

  • How many keys?
  • Weighted keys?
  • Where is it being used?
  • Do you want to manipulate the sounds?

How Many Keys?

If you are a serious student or a serious player, you will need 88 keys. If you are a beginner or if you want to use the instrument for other styles that do not require a full keyboard, 61 keys are enough. Everything depends on you. However, beginner pianists can still play most 61-key exercises. Do not be tempted to buy something smaller, you really can not learn effectively with less than 61 keys.

Do I Need Weighted Keys?

Again, if you are a serious student or serious player, you must buy a keyboard with weighted keys (heavy, like a real piano). Any other style depends on you. Most weighted pianos have 88 keys, while a typical keyboard has 61 or 76 keys (in rare cases, 64 or 73). It is important to keep in mind that most 61-key keyboards have no weight. Therefore, if you switch to a real piano, it will be completely different. This is because real pianos have hammers.

Where Is It Being Used?

It’s a difficult question, certainly not fixed. Some churches are very modern and funky in their contingent, and want modern funky sounds and rhythms; other churches are quite traditional and want a piano-like atmosphere. Some people want to practice/learn piano at home. Some just want to use an unweighted keyboard for noodle melodies. Still, others want to use a MIDI controller to program notes into a MIDI sequence on a PC or MAC.

Do You Want To Manipulate The Sounds?

If you want to buy a stand-alone keyboard with which you can manipulate/modify the sound (for example, add more reverb, resonance, or change the cutoff time), you’ll probably want to watch a synthesizer. Some synths are weighted; most are not. One can not scratch unweighted keyboards and synths for serious players – many great jazz players use unweighted synths.

What is MIDI, and what do I need to know about it?

MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is the software and network hardware that allows electronic musical instruments to connect and communicate with computers. MIDI covers everything from the type of cables and connectors to be used to other musical information such as volume, note duration, pitch variation, and modulation. If you intend to connect your home keyboard to an additional sound module or a computer, you should know that the MIDI Out of the keyboard plugs into the MIDI In jack of the other device, and vice versa.

Keyboard MIDI Controllers

Before buying a MIDI controller, it’s important to define what you need to control and what control you need. Although MIDI controllers come in many different forms, the most common ones have keys. Keyboard type MIDI controllers can have a different number of keys and different response characteristics, such as touch sensitivity (the keys respond to the speed at which they are pressed), weighted (more realistic, piano style), and parameters. additional to assign to a key such as a vibrato or filter scans).

MIDI Control Surfaces

All MIDI controllers do not have a keyboard. The y come in many forms, including drum pads, control surfaces (for controlling a software mixer, for example), wind controllers, and combination controllers with buttons, buttons, and sliders. The first question to ask yourself when considering a MIDI controller is “What will I control?” The answer to this question will dictate to a large extent the type of controller you need, as well as the type of features and controls it will propose.

For example, if you plan to do mostly synthetic work (with summary software such as Reason, for example), you’ll want a keyboard-style controller with your favorite typing action. From the re, you can decide if additional buttons, sliders or trigger pads are needed for your setup. With the power that software synthesizers, sequencers, and recording programs offer nowadays, many players opt for a robust computer setup with a full MIDI controller.

How do I amplify my Digital Piano/Arranger Keyboard?

Almost all digital pianos have amplifiers and built-in speakers. The quality of these components is one of the important things to consider when choosing a digital piano for your home. Many arranger keyboards also have built-in speakers. Regardless of the type of keyboard you use, you may need additional amplification for your instrument to be heard during a performance.

In this case, you will need a keyboard amplifier. Whatever type of keyboard is used, if you bring it to a new location (school, church, party, etc.), you must make sure that you have enough amplification to make your instrument heard. You may find that your piano’s built-in speakers are not powerful enough to project the sound into the back row or even be heard over chorus voices.

Synthesizers

Synthesizers are keyboards that, for the most part, only produce sounds. Today, most synthesizers use sample-based synthesis, that is, they use pre-recorded sounds, unlike analog synths that manipulate electrical signals to create their sounds. In recent years, analog synthesizers have experienced some renaissance, thanks to their unique sound and their (typically) button control. The technology of analog synthesizers has improved dramatically over the years, and they have distinct sounds that many players ask for, although many digital synths imitate them with great precision.

Sample-based synths typically provide a broader set of sounds, including piano, organ, horns, strings, and even digital re-creations of classic analog synths. Some synths also offer basic sequencing and sequencing functions. The first thing you should do before buying a synthesizer is defined by your needs. What style of music do you play? How many keys will be enough for you? What are the most important sounds for your style? The keyboardists of a metal band will obviously have different answers from those of a member of a western country band. Sound clips for most synthesizers are available for an online preview to help you get an idea of their sound sets. It is also important to decide on your budget for your synth.

Things Before Shopping for a Synthesizer

Check the capacity of the ROM; more is better in terms of saving and expanding sounds. As noted above, factors such as weighted keys and the number of high polyphonies make the synthesizer more playable, powerful, and versatile. Envelope controls allow you to customize the attack, hold, decay and release of a sound’s time.

A low-frequency oscillator, or LFO, lets you change various parameters of a tone. For example, applying the LFO to the pitch of a sound creates a vibrato effect. The filter section of a synthesizer can be used to remove certain frequencies from a sound and change its timbre. Many synthesizers also have built-in effects such as reverb, delay, chorus, and so on. If you like to push the limits of sound with what you play, these are features you will want to look for in your purchase.

Digital Piano vs Keyboard

Some manufacturers, such as Yamaha, use weighted keys on their digital pianos to try to recreate the feel of a real piano. The y even have a graduated hammer action on some of their models. This means that the bass keys are a little heavier than the treble keys. Weighted keys add a wide range of dynamics to your game, but most classic keyboards do not have them. Some of the more expensive models offer what is called the “dynamic game”. This occurs when a keyboard has velocity sensitive keys.

In other words, the more you press the key, the louder the sound. A keyboard also has a feature very different from that of a digital piano. Most home keyboards, for example, have two common characteristics, namely one-touch chords and auto accompaniment. Basically, this means that by simply pressing a “tuning” key, you can get accompaniment patterns played in different styles. It’s like an entire group playing at the same time. On the other hand, with a digital piano, as with a real one, the music is played in two distinct parts – one for the left hand and one for the right – at the same time.

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