music composer
music composer music composition techniques cubase tutorials music essays reviews contact

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.

 


Yamaha P95 Review

Yamaha are famed for creating quality instruments with crystal clear sound and this one is no exception. If you are looking for a performance 88 note keyboard with a great set of sounds then this is a keyboard worth road testing. The P95 is supplied in two versions - P95B (black) and P95S (silver).

 

 

 

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pros

The instrument comes with a few really good quality sounds (the piano ones are especially life-like, clear and vivid). Yamaha use their AWM (advanced wave memory) dynamic stereo sampling technology - this involves recording the notes of real pianos at different intensities and then "mapping" these recordings to the keys. The result being a digital piano where the notes not only become louder with more force, but also subtly change in timbre.

The P95 has 88 notes and hence can handle pretty much anything in the repertoire.

64 note polyphony. What is a polyphonic keyboard? Polyphonic refers to notes that are sounded together (a monophonic keyboard can only play one note at a time). Some people consider 10 polyphony as adequate because we only have 10 fingers. However, this is not true for two reasons:-

1. Once we start to use the pedal to "blur" notes and passages together, many more notes than just 10 will be playing.

2. If you are using this keyboard (or any digital piano) in layered mode, then the instrument will be playing double the amount of notes that your fingers (and pedal) are requiring. Hence the larger the polyphony number is, the better!

Graded hammer standard (GHS) keyboard. This means that the keys respond differently at the top of the keyboard than they do at the bottom - more like a real grand piano.

A relatively light and portable digital piano. Weighing in at 26.5 lbs. and 7 oz. and with a depth of 295mm and a height of 151.5mm this makes for an instrument that is easy to move around.

Variable touch sensitivity. The user can choose between hard, medium, soft and fixed. Ideal for helping to match the preference of the player and their experience with other weighted keyboard instruments they may have played.

Duel voices. It's possible to combine two sounds together to create a fuller sound. E.G. piano with strings or electric piano with one of the acoustic piano settings.

 

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cons

The instrument is only capable of recording one song. What happens if you have two really good composition ideas for songs? Although your performances could be stored on computer via the MIDI out, this is a little clumbersome and not ideal. Shame Yamaha didn't use some of the memory for the pre-set songs (there's 50 of them) for space for your own material instead.

The "choir" setting is a little nasty! (Not many keyboards get this one right).

Built in speakers (2 x 6 Watt power) - this amplification is generally sufficient for most home settings. However, even at maximum it is not very loud. (Nevertheless, the keyboard has the option of a stereo out for connecting to a P.A. or stereo system).

No USB port. This means that if you want to use the keyboard as mother keyboard for a computer system, or transfer files, you'll also need to buy a USB to MIDI adaptor.

 

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verdict

This is an instrument that invites expression and will bring out the best from your playing. One of the best digital pianos for the money currently on the market, and does all the basics - quality of sound, touch sensitivity and control - really well. Just a shame that you can only record one song!

 

 

 

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