Electronic Keyboards

Synth Workstations $1000-$4000

synth workstation

Paint a sound picture

Electronic keyboards can produce sounds available that go beyond a few simple patches. You have more and more uses for a keyboard. You don’t only want to play straight out of a book.

Electronic keyboards with 88 keys accommodate all your players. You also want to layer, or combine sounds for a customized arrangement. You’ve heard about splitting the keyboard and assigning patches.

You should see what the Korg Triton LE can do for you.

Imagine hearing flutes, string or horns in a stirring version of “How Great Thou Art” or another great classic, while you by play the hymn book arrangement.

Sequencing your songs

Electronic keyboards can help you learn to sequence other instruments. This is great for those times when other players are not available. Sundays are so constant - you just know one of your crucial players will miss occasionally.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a complete band sound even when someone is missing?

Do you have newer players who could use more confidence? They gain it by hearing their part – the one you sequenced for them, even as the band plays along.

Ramp up a vamp

Transitions can be a challenge. You just finished a quiet song. The next one is a little more intense. You are wondering how to get there.

Electronic keyboards can help you ramp up a vamp. Build a musical arrangement and let the keyboard play it for you adjusting dynamics, phrasing and other musical elements.

Or perhaps you need a few minutes to get everything set on stage before the set begins. How awkward and disengaging to have everyone waiting while you complete your set up. The answer – write a transition vamp.

Digital Pianos $1000 - $2000

digial piano

The touch of a real piano

Electronic keyboards include a digital piano that provides the touch a classically trained pianist wants and is accustomed to. Of course different brands offer different types of feel, so it’s a good idea to play several and compare.

Generally, however, the Kurzweil has a little lighter touch, the Yamaha is on the heavy side, which is closest to an acoustic grand piano. And the Roland usually lands somewhere in the middle.

You will want to choose a digital piano with 88 keys to satisfy your more demanding players.

Add some sugar and spice

A digital piano has some patches, (sounds), but not as many as a synth workstation. Still, the additional sounds can sweeten or spice up the basic classical piano sound, which is done well by the leading digital piano makers.

Expect to find at the least some strings, organ, voices and alternative piano patches on basic manufacturers electronic keyboards.

Midi compatibility

Now here’s a great thing. When you need a break from the sound of the patches in your digital piano, or they just need to be freshened up, with midi, you just hook up a sound module, and instantly increase how many sounds you have available.

MIDI Controllers $500 - $1000

midi controller

What is it?

MIDI controllers are devices that are able to transmit performance related MIDI events. The most common type of MIDI controller consists of a keyboard without a sound module. The instrument produces no sound of its own.

Instead it generates MIDI events from the keyboard. A good keyboard controller usually will have weighted keys that have the "feel" and "response" of a piano.

Keyboard controllers usually have 76 or 88 keys. You want to choose 88 keys for the greatest bang for the buck and to satisfy all your players.

Why you want one

If you have some accomplished musician technicians, who are accustomed to programming electronic keyboards with their own sound preferences, then a MIDI controller may be the best purchase you can make for a keyboard shared by experienced MIDI musicians.

More Information about Keyboard instruments

You don't have thousands to spend, but your need is real? Consider a Casio Keyboard

You're serious about buying a keyboard, but "new" is beyond your means at this point? Read more about the Roland XP-80.

Learn to play piano online. With Free Sheet music, tips and music resources.

Music gear news, new product information and consumer reviews. Covering guitar, bass, drums & percussion, keyboards, synthesizers, MIDI, recording, live sound and more.

Yamaha keyboard reviews and buying guide. Models covered include digital pianos, and PSR, portable, and mini keyboards and accessories.

Enjoy Original piano recordings by independent artists


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