If you are looking for a new keyboard controller to improve your home studio setup, there are several different kinds to choose from including digital and weighted keyboards. They each offer different benefits to help you get the best out of your recording or music-making experience. With so many different options on the market today it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. In this article, I will discuss some of the differences between these two types and what they can mean to you.
An electric piano or keyboard is usually considered the more "normal" keyboard, which is a traditional acoustic keyboard with sampled sounds and effects. These types of digital pianos tend to feel and noise like an acoustic piano, with the sound of each key having a similar feel to that of an acoustic key. But how do you determine which is the right keyboard for you? Here are a few things to consider when choosing an electric keyboard or piano for a beginning piano player:
There are two different kinds of the weighted keyboard - semi-wedge and full-weight. Semi-wedge weighted keys give you the feel of piano keys with a smoother transition from one note to another and are a good option for new players who just want to get the hang of playing chords. Full-weight types of weighted keyboards give you a nice "over the shoulder" playing experience that is very similar to playing an acoustic.
The next thing you want to take into consideration when determining which type is right for you is the price point. Weighted keyboards can range in price from around $100 upwards. The more expensive full-weights can run into the thousands, while the cheapest semi-wedge variety can be found at several hundred dollars. As with anything else, the best-weighted keyboard for beginners is likely to fall somewhere in between these price points.
What about the other specifications, such as portability and size? An electric weighted keyboard works on the same principle as any other kind of piano, in that it needs to have a hammock-like platform on which to rest your wrists while typing or playing musical instruments. It doesn't matter whether you're playing the piano, playing the violin, or strumming your guitar - a weighted keyboard can help you achieve the feeling of being in a hammock. Many non-weighted pianos don't have this kind of portability, nor do many people need to take their weighted keyboard along with them when they go out and play.
Another thing to consider is whether you want to pay extra for additional features. On the flip side, it's quite common for full-size weighted keyboards to include built-in speakers so that you don't have to carry your soundboards around with you. With some models, the hammock-like handgrips are included as standard. Some models, such as the Yamaha Pinnacle, include built-in microphones, as well. The speakers are normally built into the keyboard's "headphones," while others are plug-in types. Either way, it's a good idea to make a comparison shopping list so that you can compare features side-by-side.
Your final consideration is probably going to be the price tag - after all, it's easy to understand that a quality weighted keyboard can run up to several hundred dollars. There's an important trick to getting value out of a Casio PX-160. Many piano reviews list the price as a range rather than a specific price - meaning that you can get a great-sounding computer for a lot less money than you might think! The trick is to know which models come with the extras you want most and to do some serious shopping around. A few important pieces of advice are: Look for models that include extra hardware like foot pedals; look for model combos that provide more than two different levels of volume; and remember that the cheapest isn't always the best.
Overall, a weighted keyboard is an ideal solution for anyone serious about playing the piano. They allow you to get the same excellent tone from a weighted instrument as from a regular, unbundled piano, without spending thousands. So if you've always wanted to play with a weighted instrument, but are not sure where to start, don't spend a fortune and go with a traditional or commercial piano instead. Go with a Casio PX 160, or one of many Casio pianos using weighted keys. You'll be glad you did.