Kurzweil SP1’s intuitive controls and affordable price make it the perfect keyboard for musicians and students. It features a fully weighted, 88-note keybed; 16 instrument sounds; 256-note polyphony; plus versatile FX and MIDI capabilities. While it feels like a high-quality acoustic for stage, its out jacks and ability to function as a MIDI controller make it attractive for recording and multi-keyboard set-ups. SP-1 offers many sound customization options via FX and EQ, as well split, layer, and dual functions. Five favorites buttons let users customize their sounds.
In this two-book series, designed for pianists from beginners to pros, composer Bradley Sowash coaches them to play “off page” in new and exciting ways. He provides the tools to “do their own thing” by learning to read and play well-known melodies by ear, improvise embellishments and variations, add chords and “stock” accompaniment styles, and create their own full-sounding arrangements. An online Interactive Practice Studio provides backing tracks, additional information, and demonstration videos.
Creative Chords: Keyboard Improvisation Method, by Bradley Sowash,
Neil A. Kjos Music Company, www.kjos.com.
Combining FlashPlay technology, 128-voice polyphony, powerful DSP, and an intuitive user interface, the portable Kurzweil SP6 is ideal for stage and studio. Its 88 fully-weighted keys provide the feel of an acoustic grand. Aside from high-definition piano sounds, KB3 ToneReal organs emulate Hammond, Vox, and Farfisa models. The SP6 features 256 factory programs in 10 instrument categories, with space for 1,024 user programs. Users can easily create split and layered configurations with up to four zones in Multi Mode. It comes with USB and MIDI connections, a headphone output, and stereo audio outputs with 32-bit DACs. SP6 packs high-end features into an affordable price ($1,295 MAP).
BAE Audio’s PDI passive injection box utilizes a new transformer designed to lend any signal passed through it a pleasing warm analog richness and mix-ready sound for guitar, bass, keyboards, or just about any instrument. Priced economically at around $120, it features Neutrick connectors, including quarter-inch input and low-impedance XLR output on one side, with duo audio through outputs on the reverse side. A ground lift switch helps tame any ground loop issues. Hand-assembled in California with timeless circuit design, gold-plated PCB, 100% through-hole components, and rugged steel chassis, it holds up well to daily use in studio or on stage.
The GP-400BK Casio Celviano Grand Hybrid delivers new advances in tone and feel. For realistic playing comfort, its keys are made of wood, using the same materials and process as C. Bechstein grand pianos. Tones were also jointly developed with maker C. Bechstein. GP-400BK features three grand piano sounds that faithfully represent a grand piano from above and below the soundboard. Other design innovations include a curved rear panel and thicker side panels and legs, plus the height from the keyboard to the music stand matches that of a conventional grand piano. It’s black woodgrain finish provides an elegant look.
The JD-XA Analog/Digital Synthesizer from Roland is essentially two synths in one. Its analog and digital engines can be used side-by-side or layered together. The analog side features a four-part engine with true analog filters. On the digital side, a four-part, 64-voice sound engine provides expressive and natural sounds. Each analog and digital part is equipped with an MFX processor that offers 67 effect types. Other features include velocity-sensitive keyboard, a 16-track patter sequencer, backlit controls, built-in mic input, and MIDI I/O.
The Roland JD-Xi interactive analog/digital crossover synthesizer is compact, powerful, versatile, and fun. Equipped with 37 keys, it features a true analog synth engine and a wide selection of SuperNATURAL digital sounds. It’s packed with features for music creation including built-in drum kits, a four-track pattern sequencer, and gooseneck mic for use with the synth’s Vocoder and AutoPitch effects. The unique crossover sound engine, gives musicians both the warm, smooth response of classical analog, and the clarity and versatility of modern digital in one keyboard.
The stylish Korg LP-380 digital piano is now available in a compact 73-key model. It combines weighted keys and a brilliant piano sound with a low profile, slim, space-saving, and stylish design. It features 120-voice polyphony and 30 sounds, 30 demo songs, and built-in features like brilliance, reverb, and chorus effects. It’s available in traditional black, or two-tone orange-black, silver-black, or cream-black.
Roland’s RD-800 stage 88-note piano offers a sleek look and upgraded features, like hammer-action design for premium weighted touch. It includes more than 1,000 sounds, including authentic grand piano, a variety of authentic vintage electric pianos, organs, and synths. Its color LCD and lighted panel knobs provide easy visibility on dark stages. Lightweight design makes for easy transport.
Blow Me Over
Hohner’s AirBoard, is a portable, air powered, keyboard instrument. And like its decades-old invention, the melodica, AirBoard requires no cables, no computer, and no electricity. Available in 32- and 37-key versions, the AirBoard’s sharp design, striking padded travel bag, and ergonomic BlowFlow mouthpiece, target a new generation of musicians.