Digital Pianos

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Digital Pianos are one of the most versatile musical instrument in our digital era of music.

The instrument which can play world-wide music genres and still being so compact and portable that you can carry it with yourself, simply defines why Pianos are called King of All of Instrument.

The Digital Piano we use today is not an overnight discovery, it is an evolved form of the stringed instrument Acoustic Piano.

But this does not mean we should start exchanging views on Acoustic Vs Digital Pianos, they both had there fair share of alikeness and disparity,

So among both of them which is better Digital Pianos or Acoustic Pianos ? (Don’t forget to check our guides, tips and tricks for pianos from our expert panel )

This is not a matter of debate and it completely depends upon the preference of the pianist, but in terms of sound quality both are quite identical.

When talked about preferences the show is not over yet, cause you have to choose from different types of digital pianos and each is modeled to serve there specific purposes.

Lets take a quick look at each type.

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Types of Digital Pianos

Generally to classify a musical instrument as keyboard all it need to have is black and white texture keys on a keybed and when pressed it produces tones.

So what makes them unique on its own is the core intrinsic functions it offers. 

So now you know that Digital Pianos can be bracketed in lots of individual instruments. so which one should you get ?

To know this you need to understand first that What is your need ?

Lets Dive In :

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Keyboards

Musical Keyboards and Pianos are quite identical to each others and often used in interchangeable context. The notable differences are

    • Keyboards commonly don’t have 88 Keys and Keys are spring loaded
    • Budget Friendly Price
    • Comes with lots of Tones and Rhythms
    • Natural Feel resemblance like Pianos is not a prime concern
    • Creates music from scratch
    • More connectivity Options

I can keep on counting but I think you got the point.

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Console aka Hybrid Piano

 

Console Digital Pianos provides one of the closest resemblance to Acoustic Pianos (or Grand Pianos).

Almost all of Hybrid Pianos comes with 88 Weighted Hammer Action Keys, Rich and Natural Concert Grand Piano Samples along with harmonic relationship between notes.

The prime focus of Console models is to blend the digital experience with Natural and Authentic feel of Grand Pianos.

In short Hybrid pianos are the best of both world. 

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Stage Pianos

As the name suggest Stage Pianos are used for live performances and provides a plethora of functions and tones, these are kind of keyboards but more advance then the later.

Stage Pianos are specifically designed to be compact and portable as one needs to carry it easily for gigs and performances.

On a side note Stage keyboards commonly don’t comes with built-in speakers and needs amplification system to be played on studios or halls.

However, the price tags are mostly on the higher end but the tons of options and music editing – creating – mixing capabilities it provides is simply unmatched.

Functionality Highlights of Stage Pianos are pitch benders, assignable keys / knobs, mod wheels, encoders, benders, zones etc…

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Arranger Keyboards

 

Arranger Keyboards are simply one of the most powerful digital piano derivatives.

The amount of voices, tones, rhythms and accompaniment rhythms it offers easily covers most of the famous music genres styles the world has to offer.

The term “One Man Band” justifies the purpose pretty well too.

The core extensions of Arranger Keyboards is to fuse rhythmic complexity, variations of sounds and rhythms, backing tracks, accompaniment styles to create/edit music from scratch (on expensive models).

On the downside, These keyboards are a bit complex not favorable for newbies and prices are on higher ends too.

 

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Workstation

 

The Workstation Keyboards are extraordinarily musical beasts.

If you are looking for widest possible varieties of sounds from natural acoustic sounds to ethereal soundscapes with cutting edge technology that provides you a playground for imaginative sonic creation than your preference must be the musical Workstation.

The giant library of on-boards sounds of Workstations serves as a perfect platform to customize even the fractions of nuances as you wish.

Workstations are preferred by Sound Engineers, sound designers, or for the purpose of film and TV scoring. 

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MIDI Keyboard 

 

MIDI Keyboard controller are preferred by those artist who wants to create digital music using computers and specialized software.

MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface and the core intrinsic feature of this devices is to serve as bridge for communications between each of the individual instruments.

The MIDI device in itself does not produces sounds like other keyboards but when you play it while connecting it to the computer via MIDI, the note information is transferred to the computer.

MIDI Keyboard specialty lies in how effectively and efficiently it allows you to control the DAW software like Abelton Live, FL Studios, etc…

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Synthesizer

 

In most basic way Synthesizer can be explained as instrument which generates sounds on the basis of different wave forms.

So, the main purpose of synth is to synthesize the sound which can be termed as to create the sound from the 4 wave-forms – Sine, Saw Tooth, Triangle, Square.

Combining multiple tones, altering the harmonics using oscillator and resonator and using the variants of attacks, decay, sustain and release (ADSR) to create entirely a new type of music from scratch.

The Layouts of the Synths is a bit overwhelming for entry level musicians. The layout consist of several knobs, regulators, mixer, mod wheels, sequencers, etc.

Check this detailed guide of Piano/Keyboards Vs Synthesizers

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Keytars

 

Keytars are such an unique and Hybrid musical instrument in its own.

In short when you add Keyboard with Guitar you will get Keytar (Keyboard + Guitar = Keytar).

The instrument consist of an individual synth engine with majority of tweaking controls are embodied on the neck area of instrument.

Keytars are not popular these days as they used to be but still its engraved in the heart music lovers and it simply deserves it.

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Roll Up Pianos

Roll Up Keyboards is entirely a one of a kind keyboard.

It may look like a toy to few but it will surely provide a solid ground for entry level pianist of younger age.

It is certainly not for experienced and serious contenders but it can be used as a backup instrument and when portability is a issue.

Roll Up pianos, very well justifies its name as the silicone flexible body can be easily wrapped around it-self and are super portable to carry.

But hold your horses as the inbuilt speakers has some decent room for improvement.

But it is certainly a good instrument to introduce the younger ones in to the world of keyboards.

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All of the instruments mentioned above are just the variants of Electric Pianos (Keyboards).

As this guide is more focused towards the Digital Pianos instead of the Acoustic version we will stay stick to it, because there’s lots of variants of Acoustic Pianos in itself like Spinet Piano, Upright, Grand, Consoles and few more.

Even few of exclusive Grand Pianos implement propriety mechanism of specific brands to make instrument stand out of the others.

Some of the most established Acoustic Piano brands are Steinway & Sons, Baldwin, Yamaha, STEINBERG just to name a few.

Now, Coming back to our main subject.

In today’s market there’s literally 100’s of brands that manufactures Keyboards and all of them claims they are the best.

But as you know there’s lots of factors to keep an eye on before finalizing, and brands is one the principal factor too.

So, Lets take a quick look at Digital Pianos Brands worth considering.

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Digital Piano Brands You Can Rely Upon

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Casio

Casio is one of the best digital piano manufacturers in the world and has manufactured several top-class piano which is perfect for beginners and experts as well.

Casio makes all types of musical instruments like synthesizers, guitars but pianos are ruling the market since day one.

Casio Keyboards comes in all price range starting from $50 to $5000.

They offers digital pianos of diverse price ranges and for diverse personalities too. Their model range from entry-level digital pianos like P 125 to grand hybrid pianos like Casio GP 500BP.

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Yamaha

The Japanese brand “Yamaha” is one of the most renowned and trusted name in digital piano market and all for the good reasons.

Yamaha Digital Pianos are a perfect combination of Harmony and Innovation.

With the first Acoustic Upright Piano made in (1900) to the Clavinova CLP-700 Grand Digital Piano in 2020, Yamaha has evolved in the music experience and set the bar really high for any new competition.

With focus on Feel and Sound Quality Yamaha knows pretty well what us (users) wish for.

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Korg

Another trusted brand from Japan “Korg” is also one of the finest musical keyboard manufacturer with global presence.

Digital Musical Instruments is the core vertical of Korg and almost all of their product are centered around it.

Praised by well known artists like Richard Clayderman, Michele Luppi and many more simply reflects that Korg is here to stay.

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Kawai

With Global presence all around and Headquarters in Japan Kawai digital pianos reached new level heights and all for good reasons.

This 93 years music rich experience Kawai launched their first Grand Piano in 1928 and since then never looked back.

And with latest release DG 30 a pure combination of Digital and Grand piano redefined what Music is all about.

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How To Buy Your Next Digital Piano ?

 

Choosing a Digital Piano is a bit complex and generally things won’t go in right direction when you are just kicking things off.

As a global golden rule you should never invest a big sum in your first Piano / Keyboard.

No matter how confident you are regarding your passion always prioritize the budget friendly Digital Pianos / Keyboards over the others.

The reason behind is that playing piano may sound like an exciting venture (and it is) but the core factor which makes 98% of student to quit learning piano in the first year is just too hard to continue.

Piano learning is multifaceted task and requires strict discipline and practice, This is were almost all of entries gets eliminated.

Now you can understand that it is not a good idea to play “Twinkle – Twinkle” on $4500 Yamaha Clavinova 635.

Now, Lets take a quick look at which are the most important features a digital piano should have and important for beginners.

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Weighted Keys

The keybed should simulate weighted action feel like Acoustic Pianos. It means the keys gets heavier moving towards higher notes.

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Polyphony

The number of tones that can be played simultaneously can be termed as Polyphony. The more the polyphony number the better it is, for beginer 64 note polyphony is a good point to start with.

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Apps Connectivity

All of the major players in digital piano category offers various learning and controlling options via their App, so make sure the instrument you get supports App connectivity.

Headphone

Nobody should listen to bad music, and on start of your musical journey you probably going to sound the same. So its better to use headphone to avoid sleepless nights of family and neighbors.

Service – Warranty

Make sure the keyboard you buy is from a reputed brands. The quality of tones/touch feel are more preciously crafted by good brands rather than local alternatives. This is also self explanatory in services and warranty too.

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Touch Responsive Keys

Keys of Digital Pianos must be velocity sensitive. Which means the intensity of the tone depends upon the velocity of key-press.

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Recording

Multi Track recording option is often ignored by many newbies, but passively listening and understanding your music from an audience perspective will surely going to help in long run.

Modes

Digital Pianos supports lots of in-built modes among which 3 most important are. Layer Mode, Dual / Duet Mode , Split Mode.

Learning Options

As a beginner Make sure the keyboard you choose provides 1-2 step programs that helps you learn the basics of pianos and music from Day 1.

Portability

Your first keyboard must be portable, So you can practice and carry it to piano classes and can be able to play whenever the creativity strikes.

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