Reviewed: Kawai VPC1 Virtual Piano Controller
The divide between classically trained musicians and self-taught electronic musicians has historically been a significant one. These differences are apparent in everything from their musical influences and approach to songwriting and recording, their approach to live performance, and perhaps most significantly of all, their studio gear. It’s hard to conceive of bigger divide in music than that of the classical instrumentalist and the electronic producer and yet these two worlds seem to be edging closer and closer together.
Reviewed: Kawai ES110 Digital Piano
The ES100 is the latest digital piano from Kawai’s ES portable series. It features an 88-key fully-weighted keyboard, simple matte black design, built-in speakers as well as 19 instrument sounds. In keeping with true digital piano custom, the ES100 doesn’t feature an LCD display. However, Kawai have come up with some creative shortcuts which mean you’re not pressing the same button 15 times to get to your desired sound.
Reviewed: Casio Privia PX Series
My colleague stood there perplexed. ‘I think they might have sent you the wrong units’ he exclaimed, ‘Didn’t you say you were reviewing Digital Pianos?.’ Such is how remarkably thin and wieldly the new Casio Privia PX-S1000 and PX-S3000 are.
Reviewed: Yamaha PSR-SX900 Workstation
Over the years, Yamaha have proven themselves to be one of the most innovative and dependable creators of musical instruments in the world. From grand pianos to trumpets, bass guitars to clarinets, they seldom fail to deliver. The PSR-SX900 Workstation, with its 1393 instrument sounds, 56 drum/SFX kits, as well as many other additional features, is no exception. It offers a completely unprecedented level of sophistication and practicality for songwriters, who can now practise, write, demo and perform using the same piece of equipment.
Reviewed: Hammond SKX Stage Keyboard
There are certain names in the keyboard industry that have carved an immortal place in history due to their unique and innovative products. It’s easy to see just how Hammond have achieved such recognition over time with their continually adapting range of organs and keyboards that truly offer a uniqueness in both sound and feel unlike any other. Of course, just about every keyboard and synthesiser manufacturer has tried to copy the Hammond look and sound over the years, but none do it quite like the original. With the release of the SKX Dual Manual Stage Keyboard, portability and functionality are keys to having that true Hammond sound on any stage and in any studio.
Reviewed: Yamaha Genos Digital Workstation
Yamaha’s Tyros5 Workstation was designed as the ultimate performance keyboard, but Yamaha keeps redefining what they mean by ultimate. Meet Genos – the next generation in digital workstations. Now, Tyros could be quite an investment, and Genos is very much up there in terms of cost too, but from the second you sit down behind one, you’re going to get the feeling that not a cent of your cash has been wasted. The very first impression you’ll get is that this is a serious, pro-level piece of kit that takes what made Tyros great and redefines it.
Reviewed: Nektar Panorama T4 MIDI Controller Keyboard
When Nektar first released its Panorama P4 MIDI keyboard a few years ago, I was really impressed with what it offered at the time. For those of you who remember its release, the P4 was solely designed for use with Reason and offered deep integration with the software that other MIDI keyboards didn’t. It was a groundbreaking release, and being a Reason user, amongst other platforms, it certainly ticked all the boxes for me and many others. The product has since grown to add Cubase and other platforms for the P4, and now I’m privy to one of the first units of the newest incarnation of this keyboard in the Panorama T4. Gone is the slick white fascia – the T4 now sports a menacing black casing and a range of new features and integration abilities.
Reiewed: Yamaha P-125 Keyboard
The Yamaha P-125 - which follows on from the highly popular P-115 - is a compact digital piano that combines realistic piano performance with a user-friendly minimalistic design. It’s designed to be portable and very accessible - in other words, you’re not bogged down in complicated menus just to find a sound, so it’s a great choice not only for those who need a digital piano for themselves, but also for situations where many people might be using the same instrument: piano teachers, schools, bars with open mic nights, that sort of thing.