music composer
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Keyboards
choosing a good keyboard a checklist of things to look out for
touch sensitive keyboards the different types of sensitivity available
keyboard weighted keys the four different weighting options for keyboards

yamaha p95 review 88 note digital piano
casio px-330 review light weight keyboard
m-audio keystation pro-88 budget mother keyboard

Sustain Pedals
sustain pedal polarity why pedals are often not compatible with keyboards
yamaha fc4 sustain pedal a well-built yamaha pedal
yamaha fc5 review budget pedal from yamaha
m-audio sp2 review a sturdy m-audio pedal

USB Microphones
best usb microphones things to look out for when buying a usb mic
snowball-blue microphones retro looking classic mic logitech usb mic popular desktop mic samson co1u mic review studio condenser

MIDI Equipment
what is MIDI? with a list of popular control numbers
usb to midi cables for recording your ideas into your computer etc. yamaha UX16 USB/MIDI a midi/USB cable adaptor guitar midi interfaces for transforming your guitar into any midi instrument!

Sound cards
usb sound cards a list of things to look our for when buying one.

sounds cards for the Mac

covering the different types of cards & uses.

maya 44 sound card a short review of this popular sound card.

 


Casio PX-330 review

 

A light weight 88 note digital piano, designed for both home and stage use. Being just 25lb's in weight and of slim design, the PX-330 can be easily picked up and moved around. This keyboard has useful features for any student, and is aimed more at this market than for professional or semi-professional use.

 

 

 

 

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pros

An 88 note keyboard - a full range digital piano able to perform just about anything in the piano repertoire.

16 track sequencer for recording performances, creating arrangements of tracks or composing music. Also features 250 sounds and 180 rhythms - more than ample for most basic arrangements.

Built in speakers (2 x 8 Watt power) - adequate for home use. Also has a stereo line out for connecting to PA's or home stereo systems.

 

 

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cons

The sound of the sampled instruments. These are adequate for most beginners but the serious musican would be disappointed with the performance of the piano sounds, which have a sharp decay in the middle register and do not lend themselves to executing smooth legato sections of music.

The supplied pedal. This is a pretty flimsy affair and moves around too easily. If you're planning to use this digital piano a lot, you'll need to buy a casio sustain pedal as well (the polarity can't be changed from inside the keyboard so you'll need either a casio model or a pedal with the correct polarity).

Construction. Although Casio have improved in this department in recent years, the casing and plastics are not as robust as Yamaha or Roland models.

 

How good is the Casio PX-330 digital piano for learning to play the keyboard?

 

This keyboard boasts several functions that will aid the learning process:-

1. It has 2 separate headphone sockets. This means that both a student and teacher can work together on the instrument and not disturb the rest of the home (also useful if the piano is used in the classroom environment - a teacher can monitor and advise a student without disturbing the rest of the class).

2. The Casio PX-330 has a split keyboard duet function, meaning that a teacher can sit next to the pupil and demonstrate a passage and a student can immediately seek to copy this on their section of the keyboard (the student's section can be transposed in pitch to match the teachers section)

3. This digital piano comes with an in-built metronome and 16 track sequencer, meaning that a student is able to record their work (hopefully in-time to the metronome) and then play it back and monitor the performance for errors or sections that require further work. The keyboard also accepts SD memory cards, so several performances can be stored and played back at a later date. Performances or compositions can also be transmitted via the USB Midi interface to a laptop or PC.

4. Half-damper support. The PX-330 has 3 pedal outputs (digital pianos are often not supplied with sustain pedals and these may need to be bought separately) and can simulate half-pedaling (normally only associated with acoustic pianos, although more digital pianos are now supporting this feature).

5. The PX-330 has a stereo line in, meaning that a mp3 or CD player can be plugged in and heard through it's in-built speaker system. Useful for listening to other performanes of pieces or songs.

 

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verdict

The Casio PX-330 represents extremely good value for money, and is well equipped as a student/learner digital piano. Serious musicans will probably be disappointed with the "sound" of the instrument (compared with some Yamaha or Korg models) and could prefer to use it as a mother keyboard, although much more cost efficient USB mother keyboards exist on the martket, such as the M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 ES.

 

 

 

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