There's a reason that the Casio WK-245 has been a favorite among musicians and reviewers ever since it was launched. This smart portable keyboard has rapidly become a favorite, for its great sound and advanced capabilities, at a beginner-friendly price.
For aspiring musicians who want to go beyond simply learning how to play piano, but who want to create and share their own music, the Casio WK-245 is a compact, portable keyboard that has all the capabilities that modern songwriters and composers are looking for.
With 76 touch sensitive keys, the ability to layer and combine voices, built-in rhythms, and MIDI and USB connectivity, it's a complete portable music creation station at an affordable price. In this Casio WK 245 review, we will take a look at the features, specification, pro & cons, and working of this keyboard.
Music for Everyone
Casio's first electronic musical instrument made its debut in 1980, when the company released its breakthrough Casiotone 201 (shortened to CT-201). The mission statement of this keyboard was simple: to make the joy of playing music available to everyone, not just reserved for the elite (or those who were lucky enough to inherit their grandmother's piano). Casio worked to increase the affordability of owning an instrument, as well as the ease of use of actually playing an instrument, increasing the appeal for many.
This keyboard's simple design doubtlessly helped many children develop a passion for piano and keyboard at an early age. Because the CT-245's keys were easier for little fingers to press down than the weighted keys of a piano, playing the keyboard was suddenly something that youngsters all over the world were interested in.
This breakout model was small and lightweight, making it perfect for jamming on the go. It was equipped with built-in speakers and could emulate 29 different instrument tones. Although these tones didn't exactly sound like the real corresponding instruments (at all), that's now just part of its unique charm. At the time, these digital voices were completely game-changing.
In fact, this product was so revolutionary to the world of digital and electronic instruments that people referred to it as the "third" type of instrument: it couldn't be classified as an electric organ, but it also wasn't a synthesizer.
The '80s: A Golden Age of Keyboards
The CT-201 was followed up the next year by the MT-40. It was on this keyboard's databank that the famous "Sleng Teng" rhythm pattern originated, which became highly popular among reggae circles and went on to revolutionize the genre. Casio also put out the CT-701 in 1981, on which a new feature was pioneered called Melody Guide. For the first time ever, using light-up keys and digital technology, piano students were guided through melody lines visually and learned to play in a whole new way.
In 1983, Casio released the Symphonytron 8000, boasting two-tiered keyboards, pedal keys, a row of effects pedals, and full-sized dual speakers. It was enough to hold its own in any band or ensemble setup, or could be used to create a ranged solo performance.
Casio continued to push the envelope with the ingenuity of their further releases of the 1980s. Features like digital sheet music stored on ROM cartridges made it hard to find an excuse not to practice. Then there was the VL-1, which, in addition to its music sequencer, was also a pocket calculator. In the decades to follow, Casio moved into other types of electronic and digital instruments beyond the keyboard, including drums, guitar, and even a saxophone.
In 2014, Casio released a new keyboard that revolutionized electronic instruments even further. With 76 keys, enough range to satisfy most pianists but still trim enough to avoid bulkiness, the WK-245 boasts an extensive feature list while maintaining its ease of use and practicality.
The Casio WK-245 is a workstation keyboard with onboard sampling, 6-track recording and playback, and digital connectivity to computers and smart devices. The big onboard library of instrument tones and rhythms will inspire any musician, and microphone and audio inputs let you connect external devices or instruments, while you sample or sing along. Add reverb and other effects to create finished compositions, and share them using your Mac or PC.
While it may seem like the Casio WK-245 is made for intermediate or advanced musicians, it also has an onboard lesson learning system and a dedicated piano button, so it's still a great option for beginners who simply want to learn to play the piano.
And with its advanced digital capabilities, the Casio WK-245 will grow as you learn, with more opportunities for expression and exploration over time.
Here's a short video review of Casio WK-245 from Matt Cocagne.
It came out in 2014.
The keybaord is 118.7 cm long, 14.9 cm high and 39.9 cm wide.
6.9 kg, excluding batteries.
This is a 76 keys model.
It has 600 instrument sounds.
Both the Casio WK-245 and Yamaha PSR-EW300 have 76-key piano-style, touch-sensitive keyboard and 48-note polyphony. Both models have Split function, and Reverb, Chorus, Harmony and Arpeggio digital effects. Both have LCD display, USB port, and microphone, headphone and pedal jacks.
The differences between Casio WK-245 and Yamaha PSR-EW300 include but not limited to the following.
Who the Casio WK-245 is Most Suitable For?
Since it has the built-in lesson functions and simple, intuitive operation, the Casio WK 245 is suitable for beginners and novice piano players. However, it's also an advanced digital music workstation, with capabilities that appeal to intermediate or even advanced players.
This is a great keyboard for a musician who knows the basics of the keyboard, but wants to enter the world of dance or hip-hop music using the library of rhythms, voices, and recording and sampling capabilities.
These functions are often only available in more expensive, complex keyboards. The USB compatibility makes it easy to export, mix, and share your music using many popular software packages, and it's compatible with Windows or Mac devices.
Even professional musicians with an advanced keyboard setup at home may appreciate the Casio WK-245 as a portable musical workstation that they can easily take on the road, to a class, or anywhere else that they want to create and share their music.
What's Included in the Box?
The WK-245 comes with the keyboard and the power supply.
What's the point of having a keyboard with sampling capabilities if you don't have a microphone? If you are just getting started recording and using samples, the MAONO USB Microphone is a great place to begin.
The advanced chipset gives great recording quality for a microphone in this price range, and the included compact microphone stand gives musicians the versatility to record samples, or use the microphone to sing along with the Casio WK-245.
This microphone also has low power consumption, which is important when you are using a portable keyboard.
Amazon is currently offering the Casio WK-245 “Essentials Bundle.” This is a great option for those who want the keyboard, power supply, keyboard stand, and headphones all at once, with nothing else to buy.
The bundle makes these items more affordable than when sold individually, and it's more convenient too.
The Casio WK 245 has quite a lot of features for a keyboard in this price range.
The 76 full-size keys are touch sensitive, so they adjust in volume depending on how hard you press the keys. You can also turn off touch sensitivity for consistent volume regardless of playing technique.
It has a bright backlit LCD screen to make navigation of settings and functions simple to do in any lighting conditions.
The keyboard weighs about 16 pounds without batteries, so it is portable. And because it can be battery powered, it can be played anywhere.
It has onboard reverb, chorus, harmony, and digital effects functions, as well as music presets and One Touch presets, so there is a wide range of audio possibilities to explore. It has also dual layer and split keyboard functions, so you can play different instruments with each hand or share the keyboard with another player.
The Casio WK-245 has the capacity to record up to 5 songs with up to 8 tracks, and can store up to 8 audio samples, which is great for composers and songwriters who want to create and share their unique songs.
The Casio Step-Up Lesson System
With the Step-Up lesson system, the keyboard and LCD screen work together to provide basic piano lessons. Based on the songs in the keyboard's library, learners are guided at their own pace, with a system that teaches music notation and correct hand positioning at the same time.
The keyboard has a Voice Fingering Guide that provides verbal prompts as you play, and the lesson scoring system tracks your progress over time. It's a simple way to learn to play piano in your own way, on your own time.
The Casio WK-245 has a pedal port, a mic or audio in port, and USB ports, unlike many portable keyboards in its class. You can import MIDI files, record and store samples, or export your music to other devices for editing, mixing, and sharing.
Plug It In
With the WK-245's Aux input, you can plug in an MP3 player or any other external device and play it through the excellent speaker system. This also enables pianists to jam along with their favorite bands or easily give themselves any backing track they want. Computers and iOS devices can connect via the USB MIDI port without the need to install any cumbersome drivers. And for late-night or early-morning practice sessions, there's the headphone jack - meaning less interrupted sleep for the families, roommates, and neighbors of musicians.
A Clear Display
Whether you're playing a big show, preparing for one, or just trying to get through your beginner lessons, it's important to be able to clearly see your music and keyboard settings. With a backlit LCD display screen for music notation and everything else you need to be able to see while playing, there's no risk of losing your place in the song or struggling with the instrument's interface at the worst possible moment.
For composers, one of the worst feelings in the world is having a great musical idea and forgetting it before you can finish writing it down. With the WK-245's onboard six-track recorder, no writing is necessary. Professional and amateur composers alike can preserve their catchy breakfast cereal jingle or the main theme to their rock opera at the push of a button. With room for up to five songs and an onboard sampling feature, there are no limits put on the artist's creativity with this instrument.
The Band is Built In
Also included is a digital library of 180 rhythm tracks that are perfect for practice sessions and even performances. With your own personal backing band built into this keyboard, it's enough to worry any drummer. The selection of rhythm tracks takes you all the way around the world through every genre, and they're fully customizable. You can put the fills exactly where you want them, and the tempo and dynamics can be fully adjusted to fit your vision.
Pros & Cons
Casio Singapore has a YouTube channel where they have created a number of useful video tutorials for learning this keyboard. The first lesson, controlling the keyboard sound, can be found here. Subsequent lessons can also be found on their channel.
The English and Spanish versions of the owner's manual and user's guide can be found here:
Casio WK-245 vs. Casio WK6600
The Casio WK-245 and the Casio WK6600 are very similar keyboards, since they are both 76-key workstation keyboards from the same company.
Both keyboards have:
However, the WK6600 has a lot more features and capabilities than the WK-245, including:
Advantages of the WK6600 over the WK-245
In other words, although it is more expensive, the WK6600 has even more advanced and customizable digital features for songwriters, DJs, and composers than the WK-245.
As you already may have anticipated, the Casio WK-245 is better for beginners and new players and has the onboard lesson and learning functions beginners may need.
The Casio WK6600 doesn't have any lesson features, and has more digital recording, mixing, editing, and playback capabilities for more advanced musicians who want to take advantage of the broader range of musical capabilities of their keyboard.
Both keyboards are solid options in their respective price ranges; it's simply a question of how advanced the player is.
Kris Nicholson Demos Casio WK-220 & WK-245 Comparison
The Casio WK-245 is an excellent instrument for a beginner or intermediate player who wants to go beyond simply playing the piano. It's a beginner's workstation, designed to make it easy for aspiring musicians to write, create, and compose their own music.
With its big onboard library of voices and rhythms, multi-track recording and sampling capabilities, and layered keyboard and polyphony, it helps to inspire and teach new musicians and DJs how to create their own digital music.
It has great sound and excellent features for a keyboard in this price range, so it is a solid investment that can keep pace with a musician as they learn and grow. Ample onboard memory, digital connectivity, and multiple ports mean that this keyboard can do nearly anything you may ask of it, at home or on the road, for years to come.
We hope that you enjoyed this Casio WK 245 review and it will help you in deciding if this is the right keyboard for you.