Here we have compiled Korg buying guide for quick and easy reference. Everyone wants a keyboard at times to light up their homes musically. The problem however, comes from understanding which type of keyboard is intended for what type of function or capable of performing certain functions. It all becomes quite confusing, since the number of products in each of the keyboard categories is large. It is advisable to have a clear idea as you shop so that you can get whatever it is you intend to have.
Common Keyboard Features – Korg Buying guide essentials
There are many common keyboard features in most categories of keyboard. There are some basics one should familiarise themselves with before they can actually move into specifics. Some of the basics include:
- Number of keys
Keyboards vary when it comes to the number of keys. They range from 25 on the small MIDI controllers up to 88 (Kronox-88 X) like the traditional piano. You can get to choose how many keys you prefer depending on your space restrictions, as well as the types of music you will be playing.
You are likely to come across various actions that relate to the keyboard response. Weighted hammer action, synth, and semi-weighted which offer a different feel altogether. Weighted and semi-weighted action resembles that of a traditional piano, while hammer action includes mechanical hammer to enhance response and the synth action functions more like an organ, no resistance allowing keys to play very quickly. If you are used to the grand piano then you will certainly feel a miss if you get a keyboard that misses these features.
- Velocity sensitivity
This is the ability of keyboard to immediately recognise or sense the speed or force with which a key is pressed and in turn create a sound out of it or send a message instantly to the MIDI. For more on Korg buying guide click here.
This involves the number of sounds that can be generated by a keyboard at one time. Keyboards that have adopted extensive polyphony capabilities are known to mimic orchestras.
- MIDI compatibility
It is also known as Musical Instrument Digital Interface. MIDI is a communication protocol that serves as a blueprint with directions on what notes to play and with what velocity. It directs both the hardware and the software instrument. With MIDI compatibility you can send and receive MIDI messages to the keyboard.
- Computer connectivity
Computer connectivity these days has been made easier by devices such as USB, FireWire, MIDI, S/PDIF, mLAN etc. Most keyboards are known to use USB or MIDI for easy connectivity. Also, IOS capabilities have been made accessible to a world of performance, practice as well as recording apps.
This is a software or hardware device that is responsible for recording MIDI performance data and then it plays in a sequence that is user-programmed. It is more like a 21st century player piano.
These are chords that are played in succession. When a single note is played, an arpeggio is electronically produced.
This device allows you to record audio, alter it and still be able to play back in various ways. For your keyboard to allow you to incorporate external audio clips it should have in-built sampling capabilities.
This is an important aspect since you may need to use your keyboard as a digital audio workstation. It can save you from purchasing a separate interface. The only time you may be forced to connect to external amplifiers, mixers and speakers is if you are playing live with your keyboard.
Control on a keyboard will depend on what you will be doing with it. For instance, when it comes to synths, you will require at least pitch and modulations wheels, and for MIDI you will need to have knobs and sliders.
With availability of USB connectivity, most keyboards are able to offer external storage in flash drives and Smart Media card slots.
These are keyboards that majorly produce sound. By use of pre-recorded sounds they are able to create their own sounds. They provide a much larger sound set and offer sequencing functions as well.
When it comes to purchasing a synthesizer there are a few things you need to know. It should be chosen based on the type of music you play and the sounds that are most important to your style. Keyboard players differ when it comes to style since they have different taste. It is best to look online for sound clips’ previews in order to get whatever synthesizer you are looking for. The good thing about it is today; even the less-expensive synths have been designed with quality sound-sets.
Synthesizers include some sounds embedded into the ROM which vary depending on one’s preference. For instance; if you prefer to create your own unique sounds then you should pick a synth with many user patch locations. Patch locations are memory slots that make it possible for you to save your sonic creations. However, if you prefer to just plug and immediately start playing then you will need a synth with many pre-sets. You should be able to expand your ROM since it will allow you to update your synth when it comes to new or different sound sets.
Other Things to Look for When Shopping for a Synthesizer
The other features that one may look at when shopping for a synthesizer include the ROM capacity. More ROM is better when it comes to saving and expanding sounds just like the weighted keys and the high-polyphony counts which work to make the synth more playable and powerful at the same time.
Envelope controls allows attacking, decaying, sustaining and releasing time of any sound. An LFO lets you alter different parameters of a tone like a tone’s pitch creating a vibrato effect. The synthesizer’s filter sections come in handy when it comes to changing a sound’s timbre and removing some frequencies from it. There also built-in effects such as reverb, delay, and chorus and much more within the synthesizers.
If you are the type that enjoys pushing sonic boundaries while playing, then these are the few things you may need to look for. Having a Korg buying guide comes in handy before you make the actual purchase.