There is a broad range of keyboard type musical products available starting from simple MIDI controllers to several thousand keyboard workstations. Before buying any of these musical instruments, you want to know what kind of keyboard instrument you require.
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In this article, you will learn what type of functions and features you must look at the options within your budget.
To make your shopping simple and easy, you must have a clear picture of what do you want to shop first.
Learn the common terms and feature used in the keyboard categories. Understanding the essential features helps you familiarize the common terms before knowing the particular models available in each model.
Number of Keys varies from one keyboard model to another. The small MIDI controllers have 25-88 keys similar to a usual acoustic piano. You can determine the number of keys you must look in a keyboard based on the space restrictions and music type you will play usually.
You may come across different terms about the response of the keyboard. Synth, hammer, weighted, semi-weighted are different actions that offer a different feel.
Synth lead is the best option to play a number of fast passages. Hammer action gives the real piano feel. If you are not much used to that kind of feel, then choose a weighted, or semi-weighted piano.
Velocity or Touch sensitivity is an important factor you must check. Once you pressed a key, it must sense the speed or force that a key is pressed and transfers a MIDI message or makes a sound accordingly.
Polyphony refers to the number of different sounds that a digital piano can produce simultaneously. Keyboards with large polyphony and enough instrument voices can substitute a whole orchestra.
Multitimbrality is the potential of the keyboard to play various sounds immediately (For example, drums, piano, flute, strings). Multitimbrality is different from Polyphony.
MIDI refers to Musical Instrument Digital Interface, and is a type of communication protocol. Instead of sounds, MIDI is a blueprint that instructs the software and hardware instrument about what notes the device want to play and using what velocity.
The sequencer is a software or a hardware instrument that records the performance of the MIDI data and plays it again in a programmed sequence designed by you.
The Sampler is a device that records the audio and permits it to alter and play back in several ways. To add external audio files into your music, you will need a keyboard with a high sampler.
Many digital keyboards allow you to store the music clips in an external storage device like SmartMedia card slots, flash drives, etc.
Now you have understood the common terms used in keyboard category, and this helps to easily locate the right keyboard or digital piano based on your need.