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#1754352 - 09/17/11 10:53 PM Arranger / Workstation recommendation sought ...
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6194
(Also cross-posted at the Digital Piano forum.)

Looking for a keyboard/arranger/workstation type thingie.

Kind of hoping to find one that can serve two purposes:

1. For me -- Doing composition/arrangement stuff (standalone or in conjunction with computer/software, e.g. with Apple's Garage Band or something more sophisticated like Cubase), function as input device into computer notation software (e.g., Finalé), and record improvs and playback (and output as MIDI for notation purposes if possible).

2. For other casual users in the household -- just for fun, and should be easy to use; would be nice to have a few "idiot buttons" that would let these casual users to easily switch instrument sounds or do one finger chords/accompaniments and such. Oh, and built-in speakers and headphone jack.

I already have an acoustic grand piano at home, so I don't need this device to imitate a piano ... but touch sensitivity for dynamic control would be nice; would also be nice if I can hook a pedal or two into it (for inputing/recording piano parts). Full 88 keys would be nice, too.

Question: What brands/models do you think I should look at? What's the "high-end," what's "middle of the road," what's "entry level"?

Thanks in advance.
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#1754382 - 09/17/11 11:47 PM Re: Arranger / Workstation recommendation sought ... [Re: Axtremus]
Nikolas Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 6004
Loc: Europe

If you do NOT need rhythms with your piano, then you could just get a digital piano, which got a few other sounds (strings, organ, etc) and some get great piano feeling (all with the understanding that they ARE digital pianos). They can also be hooked up with a computer and cover your No. 1 issue.

This is what I've done. I've got a CASIO Privia, which I find great at such a low price and I've got it on my studio using it as a midi controller (along with another one for pitch bend and various knobs). Occasionally I will grab it, put it in the car and get it to a party to have some fun with my friends and family.

For Digital pianos there's only a few choices in terms of Brand: Yamaha, Casio and (I think) Kawai. On models there's a wealth of choice, but it takes quite a few clicks to understand more. There's also the V-Piano of Roland which is priced at around 5,000$ (so towards the high end, but not THE actual high end for digital pianos), with plenty more choices for the pianist than the traditional digital piano... :-/


If you want something that works complete on its own, with drums, bass, etc, then you're really looking at a workstation. Some top instruments like that are the Kronos, which (I think) is priced around 3,500$ and other similar instruments like that (will have to look up on that).

#1757878 - 09/23/11 09:06 AM Re: Arranger / Workstation recommendation sought ... [Re: Axtremus]
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6194
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Nikolas.

I have since changed my focus to get a keyboard that can function as a MIDI controller and lessened the emphasis on sophisticated on-board workstation/arranger function. Though get a keyboard that "feels" like an acoustic piano is still not an emphasis. (Already have a good acoustic piano at home, and I believe that a piano should be played like a piano and a keyboard should be played like a keyboard ... so no impetus to get a keyboard that plays like a piano.)
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings


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