There are many different types of electronic piano keyboard, some of which are designed for the novice and others for professional musicians. Some of the entry-level electronic keyboards will display labels such as trumpet or violin. These are sampler based keyboards. In other words these keyboards have sounds that are stored in permanent memory often referred to as samples. Many of these keyboards are the least expensive but some models averaging about $200.
What You Can Get in an Intermediate Keyboard
What I like to qualify as midrange keyboards are those that allow you to play one instrument while being accompanied by a full automated orchestra, creating rhythms and patterns that liven up and make you sound like a professional musician.
In another category of keyboards that I referred to as programmable keyboards. These tend to allow the players to play pre-programmed sounds but also to alter or create new sounds. These keyboards are well adapted to the recording studio musician as well has the live stage performer. Korg, Kurzweil and Roland are all brands that feature these type of programmable keyboards.
For the Practicing Musician a Digital Piano is a Must
Given the vast array of different types keyboards available we are still not finished yet. Next on the list of keyboards are the digital pianos. A digital is an electronic piano keyboard that tries to replicate an acoustic pian. These keyboards strive to reproduce the sounds of an acoustic piano as a genuinely as possible. In fact digital pianos even try to reproduce the key action that mimics an acoustic piano. Although the digital pianos of come a long way using the best technology available to reconstruct all of the nuances portrayed in an acoustic piano there still needs to be some work done in this area. Today’s digital pianos are very close to a frantically reproducing the sounds of an acoustic piano. Yamaha Kurzweil and Korg are prime examples of manufacturers that produce digital pianos.
The workstation is a keyboard that packages many different functions into one keyboard. Generally, workstations have built-in MIDI sequencer’s allow the aspiring musician/composer to create music compositions all from one keyboard. Most workstations feature the capacity to store one’s compositions and data internally either through the use of the hard disk or flash ROM type memory.
Create Your Own Instruments
Samplers are keyboards that replicate sounds that are located externally from the machine. Samplers can record audio from sources such as microphones and other external devices. Some very well-known and famous keyboards include a Korg Triton and Kurzweil K2000. These are considered digital keyboards in that the analog audio source is converted into digital signals and then the digital signals on playback are re-translated into analog signals.
Analog synthesizers of years past are regaining popularity in their being reproduced once again to meet this demand. Many of these analog synthesizers are reappearing as virtual instruments. Virtual instruments are instruments to produce sound using software. Many of these virtual instruments are third-party plug-ins for existing commercial recording software applications.
You Don’t Need a Keyboard In Fact
Nowadays there is no need to buy a full-fledged keyboard but rather just a sound module that reproduces sound when a signal is sent to the module. Typically these modules are connected by a midi controller, a keyboard that does not produce sound but rather sent a note signal to the sound module, and a module in turn reproduces the sound.