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Topic Options
#2409142 - 04/11/15 11:26 AM Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record
bill5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/13
Posts: 85
Am back in the market after being out for awhile...my primary focus is actually composing/recording, not playing, and I am no pro (heck barely an amateur smile ), so as I said elsewhere, it's not like I'll exactly be composing symphonies, and doubt I would notice much if any diff in quality of the sound/action of various keyboards of similar price range. So I guess my focus is more on the surrounding abilities of it...

Any advice from anyone who's used a keyboard to do some composing is esp appreciated, but any is welcome. I presume most if not all today I can easily hook in my laptop...how much does that expand my ability to negate possible limitations of the keyboard? I want to make quality recordings (something I could put on a CD and give someone and have at least a reasonably "professional" sound quality wise) and ability to have other instrumentation at hand...strings, horns etc..and again at least within reason (subjective I know) have them sound "real," not like a cheap toy imitation. So the # of voices is a factor. From what I've read of polyphony, not sure that would be an issue, but never assume.....in fact I saw a very inexpensive Casio (660) that seems to fit the bill, but it "only" has 48 polyphony, am wondering if that would work...

My current leading candidates are that and the Casio PX350. I also liked the Yamaha 650, but they have notoriously poor speakers, and while not a factor recording wise, still would drive me nuts on those occasions I do simply want to play for the heck of it (I think I do have a good ear and would not be tolerant of it). Can you hook up (for ex) some PC speakers to negate this easily enough? I have a pair of inexpensive ones attached to my laptop and they sound surprisingly good for general home use.






Edited by bill5 (04/11/15 11:32 AM)

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#2409217 - 04/11/15 02:52 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: bill5]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1173
Loc: Southern California
My main interest in piano is original music. I don't see any replies, so will chime in with some of my beginner thoughts.

The Casio PX350 is a good choice for what you describe. You might want to add a software piano (Pianoteq is popular) to enhance the piano sound. Something like GarageBand (Mac, Ipad) might be helpful for other instruments.

A person can go down the "rabbit hole" rather quickly in terms of expense and complexity for music making setups. There is all sorts of software, hardware, gadgets that a person can buy if making and recording original music is the goal.

My suggestion is to start relatively simply and see how much time, energy, money you might want to devote to the project. There is also mixing, mastering, which some consider dark arts. These can swallow all available time, money and energy, if a person lets them.

A person can always add speakers (monitors), but that will add to the budget. If recording live audio (not line output, or MIDI, or direct recording on the digital), the sound treatment of the room can be a significant limiting factor.

While the recordings done on a $750 budget might sound okay, they have limitations. If you visit the Adult Beginners Forum, and listen to some of the piano bar recordings and recital submissions, you can get an idea of what an amateur with a digital and limited budget sounds like.

At the low end, you can listen to the recordings I made on Casio PX150 at my blog:

http://sandtigerpiano.blogspot.com/

There are made using the built in recording ability of the Casio, with minimal editing.
_________________________
my piano uploads

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#2409219 - 04/11/15 02:56 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: bill5]
ElmerJFudd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 484
Since you intend to work with a computer the vastly easier road to take would be a keyboard controller and software piano. If you intend to add live instruments (vocals, guitars, etc.) then you will also need an audio interface and microphone. So a little more information about your plans would help in giving advice.

Pricier keyboard controllers would have weighted actions not dissimilar to an acoustic piano or digital piano console.
Kawai VPC1
$1849
Roland A88
$999

Less expensive models can be had with synth actions. They are touch sensitive, but a bit more like an organ, in that there is no weighting or mechanical motion intended to simulate the throw of a hammer.
Roland A800 Pro
$399

Nektar Impact LX88
$299

You would then look at various software pianos that you can run on your PC/Mac.

That's a good place to start. You can add an audio interface and Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) recording software later as you get more comfortable and experienced with your keyboard and computer setup.

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#2409238 - 04/11/15 03:26 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: bill5]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12684
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Do you need 88 keys? For composing/arranging, something with a sequencer and arpeggiator would be better suited for your purposes. What about something like Yamaha MOX6 (used), or Korg Kross?

Or even go with a MIDI controller by M-Audio, Alesis, Akai or other brands, and then have some money left over to invest in VSTs and DAWs.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2409357 - 04/12/15 01:05 AM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: Morodiene]
bill5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/13
Posts: 85
Originally Posted By ElmerJFudd
Since you intend to work with a computer
I don't "intend" to per se, just that I know it's an option. Some basic info on that would be appreciated.....

Quote:
If you intend to add live instruments (vocals, guitars, etc.) then you will also need an audio interface and microphone. So a little more information about your plans would help in giving advice.

I would like to use a mic to sing some, but that's not absolutely mandatory. Can you elaborate some on what "audio interface" I'd need, how that basically works, typical mid- to low-end costs etc?

Frankly not following the rest of your post but pls note the price range I mentioned. smile


Originally Posted By Morodiene
Do you need 88 keys? For composing/arranging, something with a sequencer and arpeggiator would be better suited for your purposes. What about something like Yamaha MOX6 (used), or Korg Kross?

Or even go with a MIDI controller by M-Audio, Alesis, Akai or other brands, and then have some money left over to invest in VSTs and DAWs.

I prefer but don't really "need" 88 keys.

And the 2 I mentioned (and any I'd be interested in) would have a sequencer FYI.

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#2409373 - 04/12/15 02:52 AM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: bill5]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1930
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote:
(1) . . . I presume most if not all today I can easily hook in my laptop...how much does that expand my ability to negate possible limitations of the keyboard? (2)I want to make quality recordings (something I could put on a CD and give someone and have at least a reasonably "professional" sound quality wise) and ability to have other instrumentation at hand...strings, horns etc..and again at least within reason (subjective I know) have them sound "real," not like a cheap toy imitation.

(3)My current leading candidates are that and the Casio PX350. I also liked the Yamaha 650, but they have notoriously poor speakers, and while not a factor recording wise, still would drive me nuts on those occasions I do simply want to play for the heck of it (I think I do have a good ear and would not be tolerant of it). Can you hook up (for ex) some PC speakers to negate this easily enough? I have a pair of inexpensive ones attached to my laptop and they sound surprisingly good for general home use.


Not simple questions to answer . . .

(1) Using a laptop with "digital audio workstation" (DAW) software completely overcomes technical limitations of the _keyboard_. Polyphony is limited by the power of your CPU (in real time), and (I think) unlimited if you're not doing real-time playback. [There are some inexpensive, powerful DAW's -- "reaper" is one example.

DAW's can use PC-based sound generators ("soft synths"), rather than relying on any keyboard's sound generator. It's certainly the most flexible way to go.

(2) There's a simple rule for keyboards and "workstations" (= keyboard + sound generator + sequencer):

. . . More money buys better sound.

A Yamaha MX61 doesn't have the same sound generator as a Yamaha Motif XF (on which it's based). It will sound similar, but not identical. The transition from "real-sounding" to "toy" is gradual, as price drops. You get to pick your budget.

(3) I don't know if the DGX-650 speakers are any worse than the ones in the PX-350. You can try the computer speakers; they might be OK. Morodiene (who frequents this forum) has just replaced her Behringer MS16 speakers (which are decent "computer speakers") with much better ones. I got a pair of Behringer MS40's and replaced those in my own system with a much pricier PA speaker.

Good headphones are _much_ better than computer speakers, for similar budgets.

"PianoManChuck" has some videos that demonstrate all the sounds built into the PX-350. Listen to those (or visit a shop and try them out) to see if they meet your needs.

And some questions:

. . . Do you play piano?

. . . Are you happy playing with computers?

. . . Do you know much music theory?

. Charles

PS -- I have a PX-350. I've never used the sequencer features. I am frustrated, sometimes, by not being able to modify the built-in voices. The keyboard action is more than good enough for what you want to do, and the built-in piano sound is OK. You can get better actions and sound generators, and they'll cost more.



Edited by Charles Cohen (04/12/15 02:55 AM)
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / ZXA1 speaker

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#2409385 - 04/12/15 04:34 AM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: Morodiene]
Thomas B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/13
Posts: 67
I would second Morodiene's advice. You say your focus is not playing. Then you can easily stay away from 88 weighted keys, get a "cheap" MIDI controller (brands as named by Morodiene) and spent the rest on the DAW and software instruments.

If you are serious about the recording then I would recommend to stay away from a set-up that's based on a keyboard with a built-in sequencer. I did exactly that 20 years ago with a Yamaha SY55, but times have changed :-) Features like those of a Yamaha DGX 650 are a nice add-on if you are mainly playing, but your case sounds the other way around.


Edited by Thomas B (04/12/15 04:35 AM)

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#2409462 - 04/12/15 12:20 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: bill5]
gracegren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 69
Loc: California
You sound like someone who would enjoy creating compositions on Band In A Box. This program has been around a long time, and keeps getting better and better each year. So much you can do with this to create music in many styles. Does not require much, if any, playing ability, mostly computer ability and some knowledge of chords, and with the Real Tracks, it does sound good. Plenty of into here:

http://www.pgmusic.com/

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#2409471 - 04/12/15 12:50 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: bill5]
bill5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/13
Posts: 85
Thanks for the replies. Mine below:

Originally Posted By Charles Cohen

(1) Using a laptop with "digital audio workstation" (DAW) software completely overcomes technical limitations of the _keyboard_. Polyphony is limited by the power of your CPU (in real time), and (I think) unlimited if you're not doing real-time playback. [There are some inexpensive, powerful DAW's -- "reaper" is one example.

Wow and that's only $60. Interesting. So basically I hook my laptop into my DP and that is a non-issue. I guess the next question is how much more of a learning curve might there be with a typical DAW...I have no problem putting some time into it, but if this is something where I'll need to become a pseudo-sound engineer, might not be worth it....I doubt what I'll record will be all that complex (then again I'm kind of Type A, so smile ).

PS if I understand it correctly, the diff between a DAW and something like Pianoteq is DAWs are for the underlying capabilities, eg expanded polyphony, mixing/editing/etc, where the latter is more about giving you different instruments/sounds to use-? (This might be best served in its own thread....)

Quote:
The transition from "real-sounding" to "toy" is gradual, as price drops. You get to pick your budget.
My impression is that the piano sounds in my price range should be fine, while the other voices are a mixed bag, but like with polyphony, sounds like that's a non-factor assuming I'm using my laptop and a DAW/etc.


Quote:
(3) I don't know if the DGX-650 speakers are any worse than the ones in the PX-350. You can try the computer speakers; they might be OK.
OK thx. I just wasn't sure if you could even plug PC speakers in ie there's a jack). (Seems a no-brainer, but never assume) So speaker concerns also sound like a non-factor.

Quote:
Good headphones are _much_ better than computer speakers, for similar budgets.
Thx but N/A for me, I can't use headphones. Hard to explain - just having them on annoys the bleep out of me. Very sensitized that way.

Quote:
"PianoManChuck" has some videos that demonstrate all the sounds built into the PX-350. Listen to those (or visit a shop and try them out) to see if they meet your needs.
Way ahead of you. smile I already found his yesterday (this place gave me the idea to check youtube, thx) and he has some of the very few videos on youtube that are worth watching. The rest are mostly just salesman types who tell you little and give you no real opinions (shills).


Quote:
And some questions:

. . . Do you play piano?

. . . Are you happy playing with computers?

. . . Do you know much music theory?

Not sure how I follow these questions ie how they this relates to the topic of which DP to buy, but I'm not some kid who just played chopsticks and now has delusions of being the next Billy Joel (or whatever), if that's what you're getting at. I play well enough to do what I want to do (mostly, certainly room to grow). I'm in I.T. but not a hard-core geek.

Quote:
PS -- I have a PX-350. I've never used the sequencer features.
Do you compose/record? If so, then you just use a DAW?

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#2409499 - 04/12/15 02:09 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: bill5]
ElmerJFudd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 484
I'm thinking that if you are not married to the idea of 88 weighted keys, a Yamaha MX61 would be just the thing, done.

Yamaha MX61

It does have onboard sounds, so you can just play it if you don't want to get into connecting and firing up the computer.

When you do hook it up to the computer its a nice controller and comes with Cubase AI which is plenty enough DAW to create the recordings you're talking about.

For a decent audio interface that is just enough for your needs you can go with the Steinberg UR22 which also comes with Cubase AI. And since it's all Yamaha stuff the setup and integration should be well documented and work without too much hassle. The audio interface will give you low latency drivers for playing software instruments, as well as the ability to record from a microphone when you are ready to add vocals and such.

So it would go something like this:

You install Cubase AI and the driver for the MX49 on your computer.
You install the driver for the UR22.
Once everything is connected and recognized.
Just check to see that Cubase AI is using the UR22 as it's audio input/output and that the MX49 is recognized for MIDI i/o.

There are many Cubase users in the world so there is an active forum to ask questions and share experiences at Steinberg.net Forums.

You'll also want a decent pair of headphones if you don't have already,
SONY MDR-7506.

Later on you can look into getting a decent Mic and some powered monitors (speakers). But this is plenty to get you started real quick.

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#2409502 - 04/12/15 02:13 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: bill5]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1930
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By bill5
Thanks for the replies. Mine below:

Wow and that's only $60. Interesting. So basically I hook my laptop into my DP and that is a non-issue. I guess the next question is how much more of a learning curve might there be with a typical DAW...I have no problem putting some time into it, but if this is something where I'll need to become a pseudo-sound engineer, might not be worth it....I doubt what I'll record will be all that complex (then again I'm kind of Type A, so smile ).

PS if I understand it correctly, the diff between a DAW and something like Pianoteq is DAWs are for the underlying capabilities, eg expanded polyphony, mixing/editing/etc, where the latter is more about giving you different instruments/sounds to use-? (This might be best served in its own thread....)


I do a little live recording -- no composing. So a DAW is overkill for me. Audacity (a multi-track recording/editing program, without MIDI capabilities) works fine for what I need.

My sense of DAW's is that they're complicated, but not more complicated than they have to be. If you're in IT, you'll be fine.

Will you have to become an audio engineer? Not if you accept the stock sounds. If you want to piano to be a little brighter, and the bass guitar to have a little more bite, that's when you must learn to twiddle knobs. (With apologies to any audio engineers . . .)

Pianoteq is really "piano-only" software. It will record, and play back, MIDI data. I don't know if it multi-tracks (I suspect "no"). It's a "sound generator" (runs as a VST or standalone) -- all other functions are incidental.

Quote:
Quote:
The transition from "real-sounding" to "toy" is gradual, as price drops. You get to pick your budget.

My impression is that the piano sounds in my price range should be fine, while the other voices are a mixed bag, but like with polyphony, sounds like that's a non-factor assuming I'm using my laptop and a DAW/etc.


That's my take, as well. I suspect that you can get realistic-sounding software for other instruments as well. Native Instruments is one of the sources; there are lots of others. You can get lost in that world, if you want to. Just to clarify terminology:

. . . A "VST plug-in" is a MIDI-driven, software-based
. . . sound generator.

. . . A DAW can control any number of VST's,
. . . to generate audio.

Quote:
Quote:
Good headphones are _much_ better than computer speakers, for similar budgets.

Thx but N/A for me, I can't use headphones. Hard to explain - just having them on annoys the bleep out of me. Very sensitized that way.


You might try "in-ear monitors" -- Skullcandy makes inexpensive ones, Shure SE215's work for me. But they might be even worse than headphones for you. If you need speakers, you need speakers.

Quote:
Quote:
And some questions:

. . . Do you play piano?

. . . Are you happy playing with computers?

. . . Do you know much music theory?

Not sure how I follow these questions ie how they this relates to the topic of which DP to buy, but I'm not some kid who just played chopsticks and now has delusions of being the next Billy Joel (or whatever), if that's what you're getting at. I play well enough to do what I want to do (mostly, certainly room to grow). I'm in I.T. but not a hard-core geek.


Yes, that's what I was getting at. There are people who have never played anything, know nothing about music, and want to know what DP/workstation will let them produce the next hit.

Quote:
Quote:
PS -- I have a PX-350. I've never used the sequencer features.
Do you compose/record? If so, then you just use a DAW?


I think, if I wanted to record multi-track stuff, I'd bite the bullet and learn a DAW. I can understand the appeal of an integrated "music production workstation" -- Yamaha's bread-and-butter. I spent many years as a programmer, and I think I'd be happier with a screen and software, than with a keyboard-based sequencer.

. Charles
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / ZXA1 speaker

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#2409821 - 04/13/15 12:44 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: Charles Cohen]
bill5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/13
Posts: 85
Originally Posted By Charles Cohen

My sense of DAW's is that they're complicated, but not more complicated than they have to be. If you're in IT, you'll be fine.
Not so sure. From what I can tell, using a DAW is much more about musical/recording knowledge than PC savvy. Oh I'm no idiot, but I'm also an impatient cuss. Hoping that I can hurdle the basics before getting frustrated and saying "ahhh screw it" smile

Quote:
Pianoteq is really "piano-only" software.
Unless I'm misunderstanding you, not true. For ex it includes instuments like a glockenspiel and vibes.

Quote:
It will record, and play back, MIDI data. I don't know if it multi-tracks (I suspect "no").
? I think that's N/A as my DAW would cover sequencing. Pianoteq would just be a source of instrumentation.

Quote:
You might try "in-ear monitors" -- Skullcandy makes inexpensive ones, Shure SE215's work for me. But they might be even worse than headphones for you. If you need speakers, you need speakers.
Yeah, I'm starting to wonder how big of a deal that would be. Worst case I can get some modest PC speakers and plug in. I won't be giving any public performances. smile


Quote:

I think, if I wanted to record multi-track stuff, I'd bite the bullet and learn a DAW. I can understand the appeal of an integrated "music production workstation" -- Yamaha's bread-and-butter. I spent many years as a programmer, and I think I'd be happier with a screen and software, than with a keyboard-based sequencer.

Yeah....I guess I'm trying to figure out a balance between less of a learning curve but also doing what I want to do (which partly I won't know until I get into it, so sort of a Catch 22). With a built-in 16 track sequencer, I have more than enough tracks, but if it sucks up polyphony as quickly as some are saying, there may be some instances where I might need a DAW, esp if I get a machine that has 64 or less.

Maybe I'll just record chopsticks. smile



Edited by bill5 (04/13/15 12:46 PM)

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#2409822 - 04/13/15 12:48 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: bill5]
bill5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/13
Posts: 85
PS anyone familiar with/have used the Casio 6600? It's a good bit less but I am leery of possibly inferior sound/feel.....

Man sometimes it sucks not being close to a big city!

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#2410040 - 04/13/15 10:59 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: bill5]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1930
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Just read specs on WK-6600.

Touch-sensitive, synth-action keys, not "hammer" or "weighted" action. Different sound generator for piano, probably worse than PX-x50 series.

Full set of MIDI editing functions. Lots of voices. Polyphony 64, could be a problem for complex scores.

Lots of features per $ !

Visit casiomusicforums.com for opinions from users.

. Charles
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / ZXA1 speaker

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#2410053 - 04/13/15 11:30 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: Charles Cohen]
bill5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/13
Posts: 85
Originally Posted By Charles Cohen
Just read specs on WK-6600.

Touch-sensitive, synth-action keys, not "hammer" or "weighted" action. Different sound generator for piano, probably worse than PX-x50 series.=

Yes, that's my concern. Frankly I'm not sure how big of a deal "weighted" keys are, since I'm not a serious player. I really wish I could have say this and an x50 side by side and play the 2.

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#2422969 - 05/20/15 09:28 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: bill5]
bill5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/13
Posts: 85
Much to my amazement found a place nearby that sold the Yamaha 650 and Casio 350, 2 of my front-runners. My impressions:

Sound: both had enough quality sound to satisfy me so the "speakers are lame" was overblown.

Action: maybe it's because I haven't played a real piano in a long time, but I didn't care for the action on either. Too much "pop" on the keys esp the Yamaha (they seemed to bounce back at you way too much) and TOO heavily weighted, ironically. (Side note, I also tried a so-called "synth action" keyboard, which IMO is a fancy way of saying cheap plastic keys in a toy piano way so that is out)

Aesthetics: the "real piano look" of the Casio with the non-shiny plastic keys was all well and fine but also overblown IMO. (The Roland I tried beat them both at this)

The big "cons" on each to me:

Casio: I tried a Casio 150 (same keys, sound etc as the 350) and what struck me was how loose the keys were - way too lose, like it was used and abused a lot. Is that common or was it maybe just the demo I tried?

Yamaha: holy crap the keys are noisy< I was highly disappointed for that price range. Maybe not more than a minor thing when just playing, but I shudder to think how that might impact recording.

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#2422988 - 05/20/15 10:10 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: bill5]
fizikisto Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 1047
Loc: Hernando, MS
bill5
Do you need the full 88 keys? You might find something like the korg kross 61 key semi-weighted keys to be much more suitable for your needs. It's in the same price range. There's also an 88 weighted key version that's a bit out of your price range but maybe not too much. As a workstation (albeit a basic one) it might be more suited to your production needs.
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2423047 - 05/21/15 01:56 AM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: bill5]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1930
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By bill5
. . .

Action: maybe it's because I haven't played a real piano in a long time, but I didn't care for the action on either. Too much "pop" on the keys esp the Yamaha (they seemed to bounce back at you way too much) and TOO heavily weighted, ironically. (Side note, I also tried a so-called "synth action" keyboard, which IMO is a fancy way of saying cheap plastic keys in a toy piano way so that is out)


Interesting -- The Yamaha, I think, uses a "GHS" action, which is considered pretty light by most people (including me).

"Synth action" is perfectly legitimate. Some are better than others. Yes, the keys are plastic. "Toy piano" -- I wouldn't call whole generations of respectable synths, with synth-action keyboards, "toy pianos".

Quote:
Aesthetics: the "real piano look" of the Casio with the non-shiny plastic keys was all well and fine but also overblown IMO. (The Roland I tried beat them both at this)


Don't be deceived by a pretty face -- or an ugly one.

Quote:
] . . Casio: I tried a Casio 150 (same keys, sound etc as the 350) and what struck me was how loose the keys were - way too lose, like it was used and abused a lot. Is that common or was it maybe just the demo I tried?

Yamaha: holy crap the keys are noisy< I was highly disappointed for that price range. Maybe not more than a minor thing when just playing, but I shudder to think how that might impact recording.


Casio keys seem to last about as long as any other keys. I've seen a PX-150 demo at Costco with a broken key. I figure somebody hit it with a hammer, to see how strong it was. There are lots of Casio owners here, and no more complaints than any other make.

As for noisy keys on the yamaha:

. . . If you're playing and singing at the same time,
. . . keep the vocal mic well away from the keyboard,
. . . and really close to your lips.

DP recordings are almost always done "by wire", not by microphone.

. Charles
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / ZXA1 speaker

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#2424027 - 05/23/15 10:54 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: fizikisto]
bill5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/13
Posts: 85
Originally Posted By fizikisto
Do you need the full 88 keys? You might find something like the korg kross 61 key semi-weighted keys to be much more suitable for your needs. It's in the same price range. There's also an 88 weighted key version that's a bit out of your price range but maybe not too much. As a workstation (albeit a basic one) it might be more suited to your production needs.

Don't really need 88. I'll check thx smile


Originally Posted By Charles Cohen

Interesting -- The Yamaha, I think, uses a "GHS" action, which is considered pretty light by most people (including me).

I think it was more the "bouncy pop" they had vs the weight that really that got me, but again, I think maybe I need to find a real piano and tinker for a sec smile


Quote:
"Synth action" is perfectly legitimate. Some are better than others. Yes, the keys are plastic. "Toy piano" -- I wouldn't call whole generations of respectable synths, with synth-action keyboards, "toy pianos".
Can't say, this was just based on the few I tried (the Casio WK series).

Quote:

Casio keys seem to last about as long as any other keys. I've seen a PX-150 demo at Costco with a broken key. I figure somebody hit it with a hammer, to see how strong it was. There are lots of Casio owners here, and no more complaints than any other make.

? Not talking about broken, just very loose. No idea if it was "faulty" or that was the normal feel (seemed to be).

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#2424276 - 05/24/15 01:18 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: bill5]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1930
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
The Casio WK-series is inexpensive, but its action doesn't get rave reviews. There's a line between "professional" and "consumer" musical gear, and I think the WK keyboards are clearly on the "consumer" side. Then again, you have limited budget . . .

You might try some synth-action keyboards at a higher price -- maybe a Yamaha MX61, just within your range. Or -- if you'll be using DAW software and software pianos -- a "MIDI keyboard". Some of those have nice feel, others don't.
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / ZXA1 speaker

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#2424292 - 05/24/15 01:50 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: Charles Cohen]
Cue Zephyr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/15
Posts: 45
Loc: Eindhoven, Netherlands
Originally Posted By Charles Cohen
Or -- if you'll be using DAW software and software pianos -- a "MIDI keyboard".


Studiologic SL-990 comes to mind.

Also, PC speakers aren't going to improve that much on bad built-in speakers. Then again, I'm used to either half-decent hi-fi stuff, studio headphones or monitors so I may be a little biased.
_________________________
Guitar, mandolin and banjo player, hobbyist producer.

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#2426222 - Yesterday at 09:55 PM Re: Another buying advice thread, $500-750 range, want to record [Re: Charles Cohen]
bill5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/13
Posts: 85
Originally Posted By Charles Cohen
The Casio WK-series is inexpensive, but its action doesn't get rave reviews.
From what I experienced, it's totally the "toy piano" cheap lightweight plastic bit. ugh. Pass.

Quote:
You might try some synth-action keyboards at a higher price
That's what the guy at the store SAID they were but I'm wondering now.

Quote:
a "MIDI keyboard".
I honestly have no idea what the h-e-l-l that is. smile Ditto "workstation" pianos.


Edited by bill5 (Yesterday at 09:56 PM)

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