I am very interested in taking lessons, practicing my butt off, and learning to play piano. I don't have any prior training or experience at piano. (although I have played guitar for about 8 years, if that matters).
What I want to know is what kind of instrument do I need as a beginning student?
I have read tons of reviews from every digital piano from Casio, Korg, Roland, Yamaha, Kurzweil, Kawai. I assume that the feel of the keyboard is the most important thing. The second most important thing is the ability to show dynamic expression. Afterall, I want to learn to play the piano not the synthesizer.
Of all the digital pianos I've read about and tried out, the one I think has the best feel (that closest resembles a piano's keys, in my amateur opinion) is the Yamaha. Not the P60, but the P90, P120 and YDP223.
(especially the YDP223).
I also Think the sound of Yamahas is better than most of the competitors that I tried out in the store. (Korg, Casio & Roland) (Couldn't find a Kurzweil or Kawai in a local store).
The only Roland I could afford is the RD170 and I didn't like the feel of it. (too light).
Korg's SP200 and SP300 were both close runners up in my opinion to the Yamaha.
Good sound and good feel.
To make a short story long...
I have been reading a lot of posts on this forum to see if I could find a keyboard in the $800-1500 price range that was widely considered the best. I have not found this yet. Most people say it's more about preference. But I have heard a lot of talk about an alternative to digital pianos. That is to us a MIDI controller with a computer and Gigastudio, which I believe is made by Tascam. (The only reason I've heard of gigastudio is because I recently bought a Tascam 2488 recorder.)
My question is, would I be better off to buy a digital piano or a MIDI setup?
Keep in mind I already own some of the stuff I would need for the MIDI setup. I already own a new 3Ghz P4 Toshiba laptop with 1Gb of ram and a 60Gb hard drive although not 7200rpm, just 5400.
I also own a set of Alesis powered monitors to play through. I probably already have all the cables I would need except the MIDI cables.
However, I don't have any of the software I would need.
I assume all I would have to buy is the software (Gigastudio or equivalent), and a MIDI controller which are usually much cheaper than digital pianos unless you buy the really nice ones.
I would rather spend a little more money and get a better setup, if that's what it takes.
I will eventually be doing some track recording. Although, by the time I'll be able to do anything on the piano worth recording, there will probably be much newer better alternative out there.
I'm sure the learning curve on some of that MIDI stuff is a little steep too, and that is something else to consider. (I bought a Digidesign 002 Rackmount before I bought my 2488 and it came with ProTools LE.) I brought it back and traded it for the 2488 because the ProTools software seemed way over my head, and more than I wanted to learn at the time.
I don't know if Gigastudio is that complicated, but I'm sure it does require some getting used to.
Anyway, would it be worth going through all this for a beginner, or should I just buy a digital piano and use it until I find out if I even like to play the piano or if I'll stick with it?
And if I do buy a digital piano, should I buy the cheapest one that will get the job done (Casio PX100) or spend a little more and get a better feel and better sound (Yamaha YDP223, P120, P90 or Korg SP300 or SP200)?
Please give any opinions you might have on this subject.