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popular stores Casio WK-7500 76-Key Digital Keyboard Workstation Xiaoli's limited benefits

lord god, we all to thee give praise,
thanksgivings meet to thee we raise,
that angel hosts thou didst create
around thy glorious throne to wait.

they shine with light and heav’nly grace
and constantly behold thy face;
they heed thy voice, they know it well,
in godly wisdom they excel.

they never rest nor sleep as we;
their whole delight is but to be
with thee, lord jesus, and to keep
thy little flock, thy lambs and sheep.

the ancient dragon is their foe;
his envy and his wrath they know.
it always is his aim and pride
thy christian people to divide.

as he of old deceived the world
and into sin and death was hurled,
so now he subtly lies in wait
to ruin school and church and state .

a roaring lion round he goes,
no halt nor rest he ever knows;
he seeks the christians to devour
and slay them by his dreadful power.

but watchful is the angel band
that follows christ on every hand
to guard his people where they go
and break the counsel of the foe.

for this, now and in days to be,
our praise shall rise, o lord, to thee,
whom all the angel hosts adore
with grateful songs forevermore.

.
Sours: https://www.josesmexicanfood.com/Casio-WK7500-76Key-Digital-Keyboard-Workstation-830518.html

About This Listing

In good cosmetic condition with minor wear. Sturdy molded plastic stand. In perfect working order.

A great keyboard for the beginner to advanced piano player.  Pick up only!

FEATURES:
• 73 FULL-SIZE KEYS with TOUCH RESPONSE (ON/OFF)
• PITCH BEND WHEEL
• MUSICAL INFORMATION SYSTEM (Backlit LCD): Shows tone, rhythm, metronome, tempo, beat, keyboard note display, staff note display, chord form/name, 16-channel display, and more.
• LAYER/SPLIT
• SYNTHESIZER function
• 3 DIGITAL REVERBS
• MIXER function: 16 channels
• SONG MEMORY : 6 tracks, 2 songs, up to 5,200 notes, real-time and step recording capabilities, each track editable
• BASS-REFLEX SPEAKER SYSTEM : 2-way, 4 speakers

Technical Specs
• Synthesizer function lets you create and store your own sounds
• Touch Sensitive (with on/off switch)
• 6 Drum Pads
• 24-note polyphonic
• 200 tones: 128 General MIDI + 32 preset synth tones + 32 user synth tones + 8 drum sets
• 100 rhythm patterns & 100 Free Sessions (automatic chord progressions)
• CASIO CHORD/Fingered Chord/Full-Range Chord auto-accompaniment systems
• Mixer function allows control over each MIDI channel and accompaniment part
• 2 song/6-track Memory, Real Time or Editable Step Time (5200 notes)
• Pitch Bend wheel
• MIDI IN/OUT jacks; 16-part Multi-Timbral
• Transpose and Tuning control
• Sustain Pedal jack
• 2 Built-in speakers; 1/4" stereo lineout/headphone jack; 5W+5W audio system
• Operates on D batteries(not included)
• AD-12 AC adaptor (included)

This item is sold As-Described

This item is sold As-Described and cannot be returned unless it arrives in a condition different from how it was described or photographed. Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging.

Product Specs

Listed4 years ago
ConditionVery Good (Used)

Very Good items may show a few slight marks or scratches but are fully functional and in overall great shape.learn more

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Sours: https://reverb.com/item/6049019-casio-wk1300-76-key-digital-keyboard-workstation-synth-w-sturdy-stand
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Casio WK-245 76-key Portable Workstation Keyboard

Your Music, in Lights

Whether you’re preparing for a performance or just learning, the large backlit LCD display has everything in view, including music notation.

Easy to Use

The WK-245 has performance controls right at your fingertips so you can easily combine tones as layers and split the keyboard too. With a dedicated button for piano you can always get back to home base. Whether you’re preparing for a performance or just learning, the large backlit LCD display has everything in view, including music notation.

Get Connected

The WK-245 features an Aux input for connecting your MP3 player or other devices allowing you to enjoy the stereo speaker system in multiple ways. In addition, the WK-245 USB MIDI port is ready for computers and even iOS devices without the need for drivers. Of course there is also a headphone connector for quiet practice.

Power..... Included!

Not only is the WK-245 a powerful keyboard but unlike other companies, Casio includes the AC adapter with all full sized keyboards so you can start making music right away.

600 built-in sounds to spark your musical imagination

With the Casio WK-245’s long list of 600 built-in tones, you won’t run out of sounds. Choose from a great-sounding collection of instruments, including stereo grand pianos. Need a horn section? Additional drums? Would the chorus sound better with strings? Let your musical imagination take off. With the Casio WK-245, the sky’s the limit!

Your own backing band

Need inspiration? the Casio WK-245’s 180 onboard rhythms are waiting to accompany you. It’s like having your very own backing band - whenever and wherever you need them. Composing a a power ballad or a salsa track? When you’re at the helm of the Casio WK-245, you can realize whatever musical flights of fancy you can dream up.

Polyphony

The WK-245 offers 48 notes of polyphony so you don’t have to worry about dropping notes. Using the sustain pedal for multiple notes, playing big chords, adding rhythms and layering sounds can deplete the polyphony memory quickly resulting in dropped notes. When searching for a keyboard, take the amount of polyphony into consideration.

Preset Rhythms

Casio’s WK-245 includes 180 preset rhythms, more than other keyboards in the same class can offer. Additional rhythms expand your music composition, creativity and fun.

Your personal recording studio

With the Casio WK-245, you don’t have to let great musical ideas fall by the wayside. The WK-245’s onboard 5-song/6-track recorder can record your ideas before they get away. Got an idea for a unique sound? The WK-245’s onboard sampling makes it easy to create your own custom patches. And the WK-245’s onboard mic and audio input lets you record vocals, plus your guitar, bass, external synth, percussion - you name it. And when you’re done tracking, onboard digital FX and Virtual Hall Simulation reverb let you add professional polish to your songs.


Casio WK-245 76-key Arranger Keyboard Features:

  • 76 piano-style, touch-sensitive keys
  • 48 note polyphony
  • 600 Tones
  • 180 Rhythms
  • USB MIDI for easy connectivity with your Mac or PC
  • 5-song/6-track recorder
  • Onboard sampling lets you create unlimited, unique sounds
  • Mic with volume control and audio in jacks
  • Onboard digital effects and Virtual Hall Simulation reverb
  • Backlit display
  • Step-up lesson system

External Devices

Casio's portable keyboards offer a plug and play advantage over other brands. Feel free to connect an iPad, PC or Mac without the cumbersome process of downloading drivers.

AC Adapter Included

Casio’s portable keyboards can run on batteries or an AC adapter. Unlike other companies, Casio includes an AC adapter with every portable keyboard.

Built in Songs

The WK-245 has an impressive library of 152 built-in songs, more than most comparable keyboards. Whether you are using the songs to learn with the Step Up Lesson system, or playing along with a song for fun, you will find greater choices to meet your needs. Compare the number of songs to other manufacturers and you will see Casio has the better value.


Sours: http://www.bigapplemusic.com/shop/Keyboards/Digital-Pianos/p/Casio-WK245-76key-Portable-Workstation-Keyboard.htm
Casio MZ-X300 and MZ-X500 Arranger Keyboard Demo

Top 10 Best Keyboard Workstations 2021

Are you startled by the available choices in the market and you just can’t get the best keyboard workstation that will suit your style and recording demands? Worry no more!

Today we will take you through some of the best instruments in the market through our best keyboard workstation reviews.

best keyboard workstations

Whether you are just starting out, need something to get your idea down easily. Or you are a professional composer looking for a workstation to expand your studio, you’ll find something that will fit your budget here.

Top 10 Best Keyboard Workstation Reviews for 2021

 Here are the best keyboard workstations 2021:

  1. Casio WK-6600
  2. Yamaha MX61
  3. Yamaha MOXF6
  4. Korg Kross 2
  5. Yamaha MODX8
  6. Korg Kronos 2 LS 88
  7. Yamaha Montage8
  8. Korg Krome 88
  9. Kurzweil PC3K8
  10. Roland FA-08

Casio WK-6600

The WK-6600 is a highly portable instrument that comes with a two-level touch responsive 76-key keyboard. This is a versatile workstation that works as well a small keyboard as it does as a workstation.

The WK-6600 comes with 700 built-in tones and over 200 accompaniments with the ability to customize them. The instrument comes with a seventeen track recorder that gives you enough room to record your playing.

On top of all that, you get a chance to enjoy the Step-Up Lesson Function that includes over 100 preprogrammed songs and other features to enhance your skills.

Casio WK-6600 Workstation Keyboard
  • Very affordable.
  • A good number of tones included.
  • Great for recording.
  • The keys are unweight.
  • Might take some time before you understand how to go about it.

There’s pretty a lot to like about this instrument. Even though it’s an entry instrument, this workstation definitely trends on the simpler side. It’s a great choice for beginners or budget buyers, where you’ll greatly enjoy what it has to offer.

This is definitely the best keyboard workstation under $500 and a perfect choice to go for in the price range.

Yamaha MX61

The Yamaha MX61 is a mobile and space conscious instrument that combines a range of functions and sounds into the portable package. It comes with an easy-to-use user interface packed in a wise design that not only looks good but also feel great.

The MX61 gives you total control of different sounds and functions and it’s not overwhelming to get the hang of it. Its keys are balanced, smooth and extremely playable where they are semi-weighted with good aftertouch.

The range of ports reflects the multi-functionality in the device where you can easily get MIDI hardware in and out of the instrument. It comes with a 128-note polyphony and a sheer number of quality organs, piano strings, and other great sounds.

Yamaha MX61 Music Production Synthesizer
  • One touch split and layer function.
  • Easy to use interface.
  • Can easily work as a control on most DAW.
  • Quality sounds identical to that of a high-end Motif XS.
  • No selectable velocity curves.
  • With the two line LCD, it can be hard to make changes.

The MX61 is great for musicians in need of a cheap keyboard workstation that sounds great. It’s very playable and has good performance controls. Generally, it’s a great, playable workstation and works best for a do-it-all gig keyboard at an entry-level price.

Yamaha MOXF6

The MOXF6 is a fortified workstation that comes with great sounds and effects plus a flashboard option onboard. The instrument has a good share of quality features including the semi-weighted keyboard, VST controls, and multichannel USB audio interface.

The MOXF6 also offers a good number of production sounds. It includes the sound set from the Motif XF with the inclusion of 136 voices ranging from S6 grand piano, keyboard sounds to other new sounds from different genres like hip-hop and orchestra.

Yamaha MOXF6 Music Production Workstation
  • Lightweight and compact design.
  • Motif XF full range waves onboard.
  • Flashcard option.
  • Not very intuitive workflow.

The Yamaha has done quite a job to come up with quite an instrument that can easily fit in your studio and create quality music. This is a great instrument especially to Motif lovers because it comes with quality features for a lower price. It is a perfect instrument to use as a standalone composing tool, or take along with you for gigs.

Korg Kross 2

The Kross 2 is an extremely capable instrument that comes at an affordable asking price. It’s lightweight and very portable with capabilities of running on six AA batteries for seven hours nonstop.

The backlight can make a scene where it flashes all colors of the rainbow but if you are not into that you can easily switch off.

You’ll find over 1000 preset fills in the menu and 120-note polyphony. The available knobs, pads and other controls are designed to give you impressive control for even better experience in your performances.

The Kross 2 is available in both 61- and 88- key versions whereby you can choose the one that fits you best. However, the Kross 2 61 comes with a synth action keyboard while the Kross 2 88 gives you a Natural Weighted Hammer Action keyboard, so you need to be keen on your requirements.

Korg Kross 2 61-key

Korg Kross 2 61-key Synthesizer Workstation

Korg Kross 2 88-key

Korg Kross 2 88-key Synthesizer Workstation
  • Offers quality sounds without a premium price.
  • Category dial to find sounds immediately.
  • Light and compact body.
  • Quick layer and split function.
  • Small screen onboard.
  • Uses External PSU.

The Kross 2 is an inexpensive piece of art. It’s a huge improvement of the original Kross in terms of sound and usability and is way lighter with improved battery life.

The instrument offers a magnificent amount of production technology per pound. It’s ideal for songwriters, composers and gigging musicians in need of the best keyboard workstation around $1000.

Yamaha MODX8

The MODX8 is a combination of the best bits of the Motif/Montage and DX engines all packed for the best price. It features the expressive 88-key Graded Hammer Standard keyboard making it the next generation high-performance affordable workstations.

This instrument features numerous state-of-the-art upgrades from its predecessors which includes the AWM2 sample, synthesis engine that includes 8 times more waveforms, a new 8 operator FM-X engine that includes an amazing dynamic sound design and control synthesis that controls the sound engines.

In addition to this, the MODX8 also comes with other sophisticated features like Super knob that enable control over multiple parameters. You can send up to 10 and return four audio channels to and from your computer. There’s also a live set enabling you to organize your performance without copying change or rename the order.

Yamaha MODX8 Weighted Action Synthesizer
  • Great control offered to the user.
  • Versatile sounds.
  • Compact and classic design.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Very portable.
  • Lacks a dedicated tone wheel.

Essentially, the MODX8 comes with most of the premium features that even serious musician can appreciate. It’s totally a sonic, performance and sequencing beast that’s capable in creating many soundscapes that you can ever need. Generally, the MODX8 is the best keyboard workstation under $2000 and a worthy instrument for the price.

Korg Kronos 2 LS 88

The Korg Kronos 2 LS is an instrument developed for musicians with a thirst to perfection and desire to bring precision in their craft. It’s lightweight and very portable and comes packed with a number of stunning features. It includes everything from premium piano to several digital and analog synths.

 The instrument comes with 16 simultaneous effects, 21GB sound data and 62 GB sampling memory. There’s an 800×600 touch view display plus 16 track MIDI sequencer and recorder.

The Kronos 2 lS includes 200-voice polyphony and over 1500 multi-samples plus 1388 drum samples. Generally, in each of the nine-engine in the instrument, there’s a subset of great specs that can help you make any music you want.

Korg Kronos 2 LS 88 Synthesizer Workstation
  • A premium instrument with an indispensable self-contained solution to everything music wise.

This is a subtle evolution that keeps the Kronos at the top of the diminishing workstation pile. With its lightweight and classic design, every player, on studio or stage for live performance will definitely appreciate. Even though the Kronos 2 is expensive than many workstations in the market, it’s definitely worth every coin.

Yamaha Montage8

The Montage8 is one of the elite workstations that you must look for in 2021. There’s quite a lot to bring the sudden rush of joy in the keyboard. At the first look, you might feel intimidated by its look but when you interact with it a little you find out that this is actually simple and easy to use. Its buttons are efficiently placed with a subjective style that feels and looks elegant.

Another great feature in the Montage8 is the super knob which offers expansive, fine-tuning of simultaneous effects.

The sounds in the Montage8 are tremendous where they are diversely selected and produced. Generally, every tone sounds rich and full and anyone who hears it live can attest.

Yamaha Montage8 Synthesizer Workstation
  • Compact and elegant design.
  • Includes premium features.
  • Great keyboard.
  • 128-note polyphony.
  • Real-time controls.
  • Too expensive.
  • Only two synth engines.

The Montage8 is a fantastic keyboard workstation with a lot of potentials. Its sound quality is up there with the likes of the Korg Kronos, its controls are intuitive making it a worthy successor of the Motif line.

In conclusion, Montage8 works well and combines everything in a way that is truly inspiring. It ideal if you are looking for the best music workstation with great sound quality and ease of use and if budget is not a factor to be concerned with.

Korg Krome 88

The Krome 88 is an affordable do-it-all workstation that serves up a wide range of quality sounds and performance functions. The instrument comes in an aluminum chassis that is lightweight and heavy duty. It includes a touch-view color display that shows a lot of helpful information that makes your performance easier and enjoyable.

The button, sliders and knobs layout is simple but elaborate in a way that you have access to everything you need. Its sounds are the true strength of the instrument where Korg have made quite a fantastic job in making music right. The Krome is even capable of detailed modification often sounds and parameter if you want to dive deeper into the music.

On top of that, the instrument comes with other great features and positive attributes. Some of them include the advanced graphic user interphase, 16 track sequencer, preloaded with over 640 programs and 900 Arp patterns among others.

Korg Krome 88 Workstation Keyboard
  • Authentic and superior sounds.
  • Massive functions library.
  • Compact and durable design.
  • Enables piece editing like on DAW.
  • No aftertouch on the keys.
  • Takes time to boot.

The Korg Krome 88 is one of the best-selling workstations in the market today. It’s highly portable with just 32 pounds considering it’s a 88-key model. The sounds and other functions are in the league of the highest end model.

With Krome 88, you can do any music and sound fabulous. It’s definitely a beast in every sense that comes to the best keyboard workstations around $1500.

Kurzweil PC3K8

The PC3K8 is a high-performance instrument that comes with multiple appregiators, powerful sequencers. Along with the innovative features made in the instrument, there’s 128 MB user sample memory that opens up the whole world of sonic possibilities.

The PC3K8 comes with a dynamic VAST synthesis engine that includes a staggering library of K-series samples. It includes 88 weighted keys that have velocity and aftertouch sensitivity and a quick release effect.

The Workstation incorporates some of the best and quality sounds from Kurzweil. It’s known to cover all the bases when it comes to preset whether it’s the Kurzweil grand piano, vintage key emulation, virtual analog sounds or the world-class string and orchestra program.

Kurzweil PC3K8 Music Workstation
  • Analog tonewheel modeling integration.
  • Vintage keys synth and orchestral sounds.
  • Compatible with sound libraries for K2000, 2500 and 2600.
  • No audio input for live processing.

For users who just can’t rely on aging hardware with old sounds or just don’t need a load of samples but a machine that sounds right in a high-pressure gig, the PC3K8 is a perfect instrument.

It comes with some great factory sounds, weighted keyboard and other features that are not only great but also reliable. This instrument combines the best of the old with the new and lets you have exactly what you need at a far lower price.

Roland FA-08

The Roland FA-08 is a versatile workstation that comes with serious features but easy prices. This instrument is nicely portable with the whole package weighs about 36 lbs which is quite manageable by one person even without a flight case. It boots in just a few seconds and the overall look is practical and clean with a mixture of shiny Perspex controls and plastic body.

The FA-08 comes with a color LCD screen that lies at the heart of the instrument. It also includes 88 weighted keys that are comfy and nicely textured. The sounds are pretty intuitive and versatile and can work under any circumstance and perform.

Roland FA-08 Music Workstation
  • Excellent sounds.
  • Compatible with Roland Axial library.
  • Great user interface.
  • No touch screen view display.
  • The keys don’t sense aftertouch.

The FA-08 is one of the best Roland workstations to date. It comes with quality features in a considerable price tag. Regardless, the portability and power of the instrument are just great for any musician whether budding or experienced. It’s deep enough to keep even hardcore musicians occupied yet remains intuitive and sound perfect.

Keyboard Workstations and How to Choose?

A keyboard workstation is a miniature composing recording and production studio. These instruments are the pinnacle of the keyboard world with most if not all of the tools that you need to craft, edit, and record songs.

Unfortunately, most features differ from one instrument to another making the selection of the best keyboard workstation hard. Today, we are going to look at some of the things that you should consider when buying a keyboard workstation.

Synthesis Type

Keyboard workstations come with a wide range of sounds and effects than other keyboards. They employ different types of a generation which makes them differ with the produced sounds and their quality.

With this, musicians looking for a workstation to produce music professionally, they should go with the ones with full sampling functionality to enable you to record any sound and reproduce it in varying pitches.

Sound Combination

One of the coolest things about workstation is the ability to generate sounds simultaneously. For songwriters and film composer, should go with an instrument that gives you enough sounds. For live performers, they can go with an instrument that enables you to layer different sounds.

Sequencing and Audio Recording

Whether you are writing new music or just perfuming live, MIDI sequencer can be a very useful tool. To enable you to record numerous parts of the keyboard with just a push of a few buttons.

Some workstations even go further to include line/MIC input that enables you to record vocals or even another instrument like a guitar to enrich your music.

If you want to perform cover input workstations will enable you to use preprogrammed MIDI files to reproduce the music more accurately.

Conclusion

We hope our review will help you to find the best keyboard workstation for your needs. Everything considered we recommend you go with a keyboard workstation that gives you most features for less money. The above review includes the most popular and best workstations that you can find in the market.

Sours: https://digitalpianojudge.com/best-keyboard-workstations/

Workstation casio keyboard

The Highest Rated Keyboard Workstations

The Best Keyboard Workstations Under $1000

The Casio Privia-360 is a digital piano with workstation features.

Aside from its built-in 16 MIDI track recorder, it allows you to record audio directly with the use of its Color Touch Interface.

Its built-in Rhythm Editor is useful for creating 10 customized User Rhythms using various accompaniment parts.

Other useful features include the duet mode, which splits the keyboard into two equal ranges for a teacher and student to play side by side, and classroom mode, which sends each side to an individual audio output.

Specifications:

  • Keys:88 hammer actioned keys
  • Polyphony: 128
  • Sound Engine(s): AiR Sound Source
  • Controllers: Pitchbend
  • Audio Recording: Playback Format: .wav (16bit, 44.1kHz, Stereo)
  • Audio Playback: 100 Playback Format
  • Sequencer: 16 Multi Track + 1 System Track 100 Songs
  • Audio Inputs: 2 x 1/4" Line-in, 1 x 1/8" Stereo Mini
  • Audio Outputs: 2 x 1/4" (L/MONO, R)
  • MIDI: In/Out/Thru/USB
  • Other Connections: 1 x 1/4" Damper Pedal, 1 x 1/4" Assignable Pedal
  • USB: USB connector 1x TYPE B
  • Power Supply: AC Adapter DC 12V
  • Dimensions: 52.0" x 11.5" x 5.5"
  • Weight: 26.2 lbs

Pros

Even with hammer weighted keys, this keyboard workstation is quite portable, thanks to its lightweight plastic construction. And even with the use of plastic material, there are many who are happy with its durability. Several pianists found the keys to be quite responsive with a nice feel. The workstation itself has a sequencer with basic MIDI parameters and an audio recorder that's quite straightforward. In addition, it has good sounding pianos, organs, synth patches and percussion that makes it great for recording and playing live.

Cons

One user mentioned that the jacks can be a bit flimsy, though using velcro or tape as compensation can support the cables from not falling off the output.

Overall

This is a basic unit that's ideal for those who are new to workstation keyboards.

NB: The street price was $999 when we first published this Edition but it's since gone up to $1100.

The Korg Krome EX 61 is a feature packed 61-key workstation keyboard, with 120 voices, 2,500 drum samples, and a built-in 16-track sequencer.

Among the voices are high-fidelity piano and electric piano sounds, synths and more.

The drum samples are arranged into 48 preloaded kits, with over 600 drum groove presets to play with, or you can use them to craft and save your own beats.

It also features an 800 x 480 pixel touchscreen display, which makes it easy to monitor and make parameter changes.

Other noteworthy features include built-in dual-polyphonic arpeggiators, 16-track sequencer, auto song setup function, built-in effects, amps and cabinet models.

Specifications:

  • Keys: 61 Semi-Weighted keys
  • Polyphony: 120 Voices (Single Mode), 60 Voices (Double Mode)
  • Sound Engine(s): Digital Enhanced Definition Synthesis - eXpanded, Updated Piano Programs
  • Controllers: Assignable Joystick
  • Effects: 193 Effects; 32 Preset per Effect
  • Audio Recording: Yes with RPPR (Realtime Pattern/Play Recording)
  • Audio Playback: Yes with RPPR (Realtime Pattern/Play Recording)
  • Sequencer: 16-track + Master, 128 Songs, Touch-based Piano Roll Editing, Realtime Pattern/Play Recording
  • Audio Inputs: 2 x 1/4"
  • Audio Outputs: 6 x 1/4"
  • MIDI Inputs/Outputs: In/Out/USB
  • Other Connections: 1 x 1/8" Headphones, SD/SDHC card slot (32GB SDHC max)
  • USB: 1 x Type B
  • Dimensions: 3.66” x 40.43” x 12.32”
  • Weight: 15.87 lbs.

Pros

Sound quality is what impresses most users, which many rate as inspiring and ready for stage or recording use. They are impressed with the many voicings, with special commendations pointing to its piano, electric piano, Fender rhodes, and various synth sounds. The ability to use effects are also well received. The feel of the semi-weighted keys get a lot of thumbs up, along with the bright and big touchscreen display.

Cons

There are a few who aren't too happy with the interface, stating that it takes a lot of effort to get into parameters, which in turn delays the user's ability to maximize every feature. Those who prefer physical controls over touchscreen interface will want to look elsewhere.

Overall

Get premium quality Korg sounds in a reasonably priced package. Those who are into touchscreen style controls will find this appealing.

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Keyboard Workstation Under $1000.

The MOXF6 is a 61-key synthesizer workstation that's also MIDI keyboard controller with extensive DAW and VST control.

It features Yamaha's MOTIF XF sound engine that has a collection instrument voices, and expandable flash memory that allows you to add up 1GB of new samples.

Its built-in sequencer provides real-time recording, where you can record your performance while playing, and step recording, which is great for recording precise phrases or passages.

Note that this model is now superceded by the newer Yamaha MODX6, but since this is still available from retailers, we still included it in this 2021 edition.

Specifications:

  • Keys: 61 semi-weighted keys
  • Polyphony: 128
  • Sound Engine(s): AWM2, with Expanded Articulation
  • Controllers: Pitch Bend wheel, Modulation wheel, 8 x Assignable Knob, 1 x [DATA] dial, 2 x Assignable Function buttons
  • Effects: 9 x Reverb, 22 x Chorus, 54 types x 8 parts x Insertion (A, B), 1 x Vocoder (uses both Insertion Effect A and B blocks), 9 x Master Effect, Master EQ (5 bands), Part EQ (3 bands, stereo)
  • Audio Recording: Yes
  • Audio Playback: Up to 4 tracks
  • Sequencer: 16 sequence Tracks
  • Audio Inputs: 2 x Line-in [(L/R)
  • Audio Outputs: 2 x Line-out [L/mono)/(R]
  • MIDI: In/Out/Thru
  • Other Connections: 1 x 1/8" Standard stereo phone jack, 1 x Controller Pedal, 2 x Switch Pedal (Assignable/Sustain)
  • USB: USB to host/to device
  • Power Supply: AC Adaptor 13W
  • Dimensions: 40.5" x 5" x 14"
  • Weight: 15.6 lbs.

Pros

Sound quality wise, general feedback is quite positive. In his MusicRadar review, Dan Goldman mentioned even if there was no virtual analog engine on board, the synths "have a very analogue feel and presence - putting a sawtooth poly patch up against an analogue Alesis Andromeda, it was surprising just how close you could get to the raw tone. So, if you're after warm pads, juicy and cutting leads, deep basses and funky comping patches, the MOXF is hard to beat.". Aside from its variety of clean and natural sounding presets and built-in effects, many reviewers are more than satisfied with its responsive keyboard, flexible sequencer with multiple functions such as adjusting velocities, and it's expandable memory feature that allows them to customize and add their own sounds.

Cons

The user interface seems to be an issue for some users - they mention that it takes a while to figure out the controls, although editing parameters are easy once they get more familiar with them.

Overall

This is a versatile unit ideal for musicians who plan to use multiple layers of sounds when composing.

The Best Keyboard Workstations Between $1000 and $2000

The MODX6 is based on Yamaha's flagship Montage line, utilizing the same sound engine and "motion sequences" technology at a more affordable price point.

Motion control lets you do multiple simultaneous parameter adjustments with just a "Super Knob", which lets you create interesting sound textures and spaces that otherwise would require a lot of real-time tweaking while playing.

It has tons of sounds, effects, rhythms, arpeggiators and more, to let you do everything from basic piano to producing complete tracks. It has even has a cool Rhythm Pattern feature that automatically adds different types of rhythms that dynamically move with the arpeggiator which are great for modern electronic music.

In addition to the 61-key synth keybed, it also features pitchbend, modwheel and a wide array of assignable buttons, knobs and sliders.

Other noteworthy features include having its own FM synthesis, effects and signal processor modeling, seamless sound switching and more.

Specifications:

  • Keys: 61 Synth Keys
  • Polyphony: 192 Total (128 Stereo AWM2 and 64 FM-X)
  • Sound Engine(s): AWM2, FM-X
  • Controllers: Pitchbend, Modwheel, Assignable Super Knob, Assignable Faders, Knobs and Buttons
  • Effects: Up to 27 simultaneous effects
  • Audio Recording: Yes via Built-in Audio Interface
  • Audio Playback: Yes via Built-in Audio Interface
  • Sequencer: Performance Recorder
  • Audio Inputs: 2 x 1/4"
  • Audio Outputs: 2 x 1/4"
  • MIDI Inputs/Outputs: In/Out/USB
  • Other Connections: 1 x 1/4" Headphones, 4 x 1/4" Sustain & Foot Controller
  • USB: 1 x Type B, 1 x Type A
  • Dimensions: 5.27” x 36.88” x 13.03”
  • Weight: 14.9 lbs.

Pros

Sound quality is the biggest factor in reviews, impressing users from different backgrounds, including pianists, synth players, electronic dance musicians, and even guitarists who are looking for a home studio keyboard. Being easy to use is another often commended trait, with users describing it as a good plug-and-play piano instrument, while still having enough depth to appease those who want to experiment with sound synthesis and arpeggios. Build quality gets a lot of thumbs up, along with its relative portability, especially when compared to more premium units like the Montage series.

Cons

Not everyone is impressed with the synth action keys, while others feel that the wheel controllers are not as sturdy as they expected. Some also wish for the price to be a bit lower.

Overall

It's nifty "Super Knob" control and smart rhythm functions, combines with its sound engine make this a very versatile tool for keyboardists of any musical style.

The Roland FA-06 is a portable and streamlined approach to workstation keyboard design, it has a 61-note keybed and a compact profile while still having many of the expected functions of a workstation.

At its core is Roland's flagship tier Integra-7 sound module, along with their SuperNATURAL DSP tech used for the synth patches. This is expanded further via expansion slots or by loading more patches from Roland's Axial sound library.

It also comes with an onboard sampler complete with 16 pads and 4 banks while further sound crafting is provided by its built-in 16 independent effects engine.

For crafting songs, it comes with a built-in 16-track sequencer, rhythm pattern creator and arpeggiator.

As expected, it is compatible with most Digital Audio Workstation software, and lets you control the software right on the instrument. It even has has Guitar/Mic and Line input jacks.

Specifications:

  • Keys: 61 Synth-Action keys
  • Polyphony: 128
  • Sound Engine(s): SuperNATURAL Acoustic, SuperNATURAL Synth, SuperNATURAL Drum Kit, PCM Synth, PCM Drum Kit
  • Controllers: Pitch Bend/Modulation Lever, 2x Assignable Switch (S1/S2), 6 x Control Knob, Sample Pad, Tempo Knob
  • Effects: 16-part Multi-FX, 29 x Roland TFX, 3 x Chorus, 6 x Reverb, 6 x Drum Compression/EQ
  • Audio Recording: Yes
  • Audio Playback: Yes
  • Sequencer: 16 MIDI Tracks
  • Audio Inputs: 1/8" x Aux, 1 x 1/4" (Mic/Guitar)
  • Audio Outputs: 1/4" x Line-out (L/MONO, R), 1 x 1/4" Stereo-out phone type
  • MIDI: In/Out/USB
  • Other Connections: Foot Pedal Jacks: 1 x CTRL 1, 1 x CTRL 2, 1 x HOLD
  • USB: 1 x Type A, 1 x Type B
  • Power Supply: 9V DC Power Supply
  • Dimensions: 36.69"x 11.81" x 12.62"
  • Weight: 12.62 lbs.

Pros

Balancing quality, features, portability, and cost is tough, but Roland seem to have done the impossible with the FA-06. Reviews commend all these four traits, including the sound quality of its presets, the overall versatility of the unit, its compact size and the value that they get for the money. Seamless compatibility with popular DAWs like Reason, Ableton and more also gets a lot of thumbs up. And even with its expansive feature set, most owners find it to be very easy to use. Music Radar had good things to say, and concluded their reviews with this statement: "A ton of power and sonic flexibility packed into an affordable, easy to operate, lightweight instrument."

Cons

Compared to its bigger sibling, the FA-08, this does not come with weighted keys. As expected, some patches are less appreciated.

Overall

With big brand backing, impressive spec sheet and high ratings, the Roland FA-06 is a portable workstation keyboard that will not disappoint.

The MOXF8 has all the features and specifications similar to the MOXF6 61-key version, such as USB Audio/MIDI interface capabilities, onboard sequencing, and an extensive DAW / VST software bundle.

The only difference is it has 88 hammer-action weighted keys that are ideal for live performances.

Note that the this has been superseded by the newer MODX8, but we still included it in this guide because it is still available from some US based retailers.

Specifications:

  • Keys: 88 graded hammer action keys
  • Polyphony: 128
  • Sound Engine(s): AWM2, with Expanded Articulation
  • Controllers: Pitch Bend wheel, Modulation wheel, 8 x Assignable Knob, 1 x [DATA] dial, 2 x Assignable Function buttons
  • Effects:9 x Reverb, 22 x Chorus, 54 types x 8 parts x Insertion (A, B), 1 x Vocoder (uses both Insertion Effect A and B blocks), 9 x Master Effect, Master EQ (5 bands), Part EQ (3 bands, stereo)
  • Audio Recording: Yes
  • Audio Playback: Up to 4 tracks
  • Sequencer: 16 sequence Tracks
  • Audio Inputs: 2 x Line-in [(L/R)
  • Audio Outputs: 2 x Line-out [L/mono)/(R]
  • MIDI: In/Out/Thru
  • Other Connections: 1 x 1/8" Standard stereo phone jack, 1 x Controller Pedal, 2 x Switch Pedal (Assignable/Sustain)
  • USB: USB to host/to device
  • Power Supply: AC Adaptor 13W
  • Dimensions: 52" x 6.6" x 16"
  • Weight: 32.8 lbs.

Pros

Many professional musicians enjoy using this workstation's wide variety of presets and features. They appreciate that each voice can be customized and describe the step sequencer as well-thought out. Many of them are impressed with Its built in effects, especially its reverb. In hi s Keyboard Magazine review, Eric Lawson found its computer connectivity capabilities very useful: "function as a USB audio interface, routing both its own sounds and audio from its stereo inputs into your computer—and even the Motif XF doesn’t have its dedicated fader and LED level meter for DAW playback." When it comes to its keybed, most users find it to be very responsive and had realistic weighting. Finally, even with its hammered action keys, many consider the MOXF8 as reasonably light, compact and travel friendly.

Cons

Some users who are new to workstations found its interface not as straightforward as they expected. It takes a bit of time for them to learn the controls so they would tend to refer to the manual.

Overall

This is a roadworthy choice for professional players to use for live performances or indoor productions.

The FA-08 from Roland features over 2000 patches taken from its INTEGRA-7 sound module.

Its sequencer lets you export your recordings to a memory card as multi-track audio or MIDI to use with your DAW on your computer.

Additionally, it has a built-in sampler based on SP-404SX with 16 backlit pads for direct recording and playback.

Specifications:

  • Keys: 88 Ivory Feel G keys
  • Polyphony: 128
  • Sound Engine(s): SuperNATURAL Acoustic, SuperNATURAL Synth, SuperNATURAL Drum Kit, PCM Synth, PCM Drum Kit
  • Controllers: D-BEAM Controller, Pitch Bend/Modulation Lever, 2x Assignable Switch (S1/S2), 6 x Control Knob, Sample Pad, Tempo Knob
  • Effects: 16 x Multi-Effects systems with 68 types (Vocoder can be used only on part 1, 16 x Part EQ systems, 6 x Drum Part COMP+EQ systems, 3 x Chorus, 6 x Reverb, 1 x Master Compressor (This can be changed to Insert 78 types of FX), 1 x Master EQ, 29 x Total Effects, 8 x Mic Input Reverb
  • Audio Recording: Yes
  • Audio Playback: Yes
  • Sequencer: 16 MIDI Tracks
  • Audio Inputs: 1/4" x Stereo phone type, 1 x 1/4" Line-in (Guitar)
  • Audio Outputs: 1/4" x Line-out (L/MONO, R), 1 x 1/4" Stereo-out phone type
  • MIDI: In/Out
  • Other Connections: Foot Pedal Jacks: 1 x CTRL 1, 1 x CTRL 2, 1 x HOLD
  • USB: USB 2.0
  • Power Supply: AC Adaptor
  • Dimensions: 55.75" x 5.62" x 14.44"
  • Weight: 36 lbs.

Pros

Many users find this workstation to be very versatile, especially for stage use. The menu system and controls are laid out intuitively enough for many to mention this positively in reviews. In addition to that, its sequencer is very easy to use, especially with the assignable pads. Another common sentiment is that the keys have great response and feel. Regarding sound quality, many love its realistic piano sounds, as well as exceptional organ and synth sounds.

Cons

Some users mention that its pads are not velocity sensitive and eventually compensate by adjusting the velocity levels.

Overall

At a fair price, this workstation is worth the money.

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Keyboard Workstation Between $1000 and $2000.

The MODX8 combines workstation functionality and synthesizer capabilities with Yamaha's 88-note graded hammer action keybed.

This means that you get digital piano like playing feel with all the bells and whistles that help with music production. This includes two sound engines (AWM2 and FM-X) with synthesizer, loads of voicings and presets, high polyphony, built-in VCM (Virtual Circuit Modeling) effects, and extensive connectivity options.

It also features Yamaha's Motion Control that lets you adjust multiple parameters in real time with a single knob.

Finally, it has a pitchbend and modulation wheels, along with assignable faders, knobs and buttons.

Specifications:

  • Keys: 88 Graded Hammer Standard Keys
  • Polyphony: 192 Total (128 Stereo AWM2 and 64 FM-X)
  • Sound Engine(s): AWM2, FM-X
  • Controllers: Pitchbend, Modwheel, Assignable Super Knob, Assignable Faders, Knobs and Buttons
  • Effects: Up to 27 simultaneous effects
  • Audio Recording: Yes via Built-in Audio Interface
  • Audio Playback: Yes via Built-in Audio Interface
  • Sequencer: Via Performance Recorder
  • Audio Inputs: 2 x 1/4"
  • Audio Outputs: 2 x 1/4"
  • MIDI Inputs/Outputs: In/Out/USB
  • Other Connections: 1 x 1/4" Headphones, 4 x 1/4" Sustain & Foot Controller
  • USB: 1 x Type B, 1 x Type A
  • Dimensions: 6.29” x 52.48” x 15.9”
  • Weight: 30.7 lbs.

Pros

The feel of its graded hammer action keys gets a lot of thumbs up, to the point that some consider this as a versatile digital piano. And speaking of piano, the MODX8 carries some great piano sounds which work great with its expressive keybed, and this is reflected in reviews. Users describe it as a high quality performance grade instrument in terms of sound, build and versatility. Dan Goldman of Music Radar agrees with market sentiment stating: "it’s hard not to gas for the MODX, given the price, features and sound."

Cons

You should be warned that this is a massive instrument. There are some who complain about limited sequencer features.

Overall

If you're looking for a synthesizer workstation with 88-key digital piano like playing feel, then definitely check out the Yamaha MODX8.

The Best Keyboard Workstations Between $2000 and $5000

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Keyboard Workstation Between $2000 and $5000.

The Korg Kronos 61-Key version showcases its enhanced SGX-2 Grand Piano engine, which offers resonant piano sounds and quality string patches.

It also provides real-time controllers, such as Korg's 4-way Vector joystick, a responsive ribbon controller, and a tap-and-drag color TouchView display for a more intuitive and hands-on control.

Its nine sound engines provide a huge collection of presets for a number of possibilities of combining different sounds.

It also has a sequencer that can record up to 16 MIDI tracks and 16 audio tracks.

Specifications:

  • Keys: 61 Natural Touch Semi Weighted keys
  • Polyphony: Varies Per Engine: SGX-2: 100 voices*3, EP-1: 104 voices, HD-1: 140 voices, AL-1: 80 voices, CX-3: 200 voices, STR-1: 40 voices, MOD-7: 52 voices, MS-20EX: 40 voices, PolysixEX: 180 voices
  • Sound Engine(s): 9 Engines: SGX-2: Premium Piano (Acoustic Piano), EP-1: MDS Electric Piano (Electric Piano), HD-1: High Definition Synthesizer (PCM), AL-1: Analog Synthesizer (Analog Modeling), CX-3: Tonewheel Organ (Tonewheel Organ Modeling), STR-1: Plucked Strings (Physical Modeling), MOD-7: Waveshaping VPM Synthesizer (VPM Synthesis), MS-20EX: Component Modeling Technology (Analog Modeling), PolysixEX: Component Modeling Technology (CMT Analog Modeling)
  • Controllers: Vector joystick, joystick, ribbon controller, switches 1 & 2
  • Effects: Over 197 Effects
  • Audio Recording: 4-track simultaneous recording, WAV file format 16bit/24bit.
  • Audio Playback: 16-Track Playback
  • Sequencer: 16-track MIDI sequencer + 16-track hard disk recorder + 1 master track.
  • Audio Inputs: 2 x 1/4" Line-in
  • Audio Outputs: 6 x 1/4" Line-out, 1 x 1/8" Headphones
  • MIDI Inputs/Outputs: In/Out/Thru
  • Other Connections: 3 x Pedal Input, 1 x S/PDIF Digital Input, 1 x S/PDIF Digital Output
  • USB: 2 x USB A (TYPE A), 1 x USB B (TYPE B)
  • Dimensions: 40.94” x 5.28” x 14.33”
  • Weight: 31.53 lbs.

Pros

Many keyboardists are very pleased with their overall experience using this workstation. The touchscreen is reported to be easy to use, allowing for quick sound selection for each layer. Controls and parameters, such as ones for transposing and effects, are also easily accessible via the touchscreen. In terms of sound quality, many report that its pianos, organ and synth are top notch and have a much richer sound. The pads also get many positive mentions. Several experienced keyboard players enjoy designing their own sounds with the use of its multiple sound engines. Many were also pleased with how it allows the use of third party libraries when they needed to expand their collection.

Cons

There are a few musicians who aren't too pleased with the limitation on creating custom patterns, but this is more of a preference and not really an issue.

Overall

This is a great investment if you are looking for a professional grade workstation.

The Montage 7 is a powerful keyboard workstation that incorporates the latest DSP technology that Yamaha has in a reasonably sized unit.

At the forefront is a 76-note keybed that is aftertouch enabled and semi-weighted, while at its core are powerful sound engines that allow for a wide variety of sounds and effects.

Also worth noting is the interface, with a super knob that lets you tweak multiple parameters as you see fit, along with motion control that lets you tempo-synch control sequences to any parameter.

Finally, it has a 16-track sequencer, with 64 songs, which you can utilize either to save new musical ideas, or to improve on existing ones.

Specifications:

  • Keys: 76 Semi-Weighted After Touch
  • Polyphony: 128
  • Sound Engine(s): AWM2, FM-X, Motion Control Synthesis Engine
  • Controllers: Pitchbend, Mod Wheel, Ribbon Controller
  • Effects: 12 x Reverbs, 15 x Master effects, 76 x Variation types, 5-band Master EQ, 1st part 3-band EQ
  • Audio Recording: Real Time
  • Audio Playback: Wav
  • Sequencer: 16-track, 64 songs, Performance Recorder version 2, Motion Sequencer
  • Audio Inputs: 2 x 1/4" (L/Mono, R)
  • Audio Outputs: 2 x 1/4" (L/R), 2 x 1/4" (assignable L/R), 1 x 1/4" (Headphones)
  • Other Connections: 2 x 1/4" (foot controller), 1 x 1/4" (assignable), 1 x 1/4" (sustain)
  • MIDI Inputs/Outputs: In/Out/Thru/USB
  • USB: 1 x USB Type A, 1 x USB Type B (6 x 32)
  • Dimensions:5.18” x 49” x 15.56”
  • Weight: 37.5 lbs.

Pros

Magnificent, great and excellent are just a few of the many positive remarks that users use to describe the Montage 7's sound quality. Even professionals who own other keyboards are impressed with its sound and leave high ratings. Gordon Reid of Sound on Sound concludes his review positively saying: "The Montage is an excellent instrument that will keep sound designers and players interested for a very long time to come". Playability and depth of control also get quite a lot of commendations.

Cons

There are a few who are concerned with the price being a bit on the upside, especially when considering that this is not an 88-key model.

Overall

If you're looking for a power synthesizer workstation keyboard that's still reasonably portable, then this is for you.

The Korg Kronos 73-key version has similar specifications and features as the 61-key version only it has weighted hammer action keys. And its 73-key format makes it slightly bigger than its sibling.

In addition to its weighted keys, it comes with Korg's 4-way Vector joystick controller that allows for more realtime control.

These controllers utilize its nine sound engines, which lets you choose from a wide selection of presets, which you can then personalize to taste.

Other noteworthy features include having a TouchView display, and having the ability to record up to 16 MIDI tracks and 16 audio tracks.

Specifications:

  • Keys: 73 Real Weighted Hammer Action 3 keys
  • Polyphony: Varies Per Engine: SGX-2: 100 voices*3, EP-1: 104 voices, HD-1: 140 voices, AL-1: 80 voices, CX-3: 200 voices, STR-1: 40 voices, MOD-7: 52 voices, MS-20EX: 40 voices, PolysixEX: 180 voices
  • Sound Engine(s): 9 Engines: SGX-2: Premium Piano (Acoustic Piano), EP-1: MDS Electric Piano (Electric Piano), HD-1: High Definition Synthesizer (PCM), AL-1: Analog Synthesizer (Analog Modeling), CX-3: Tonewheel Organ (Tonewheel Organ Modeling), STR-1: Plucked Strings (Physical Modeling), MOD-7: Waveshaping VPM Synthesizer (VPM Synthesis), MS-20EX: Component Modeling Technology (Analog Modeling), PolysixEX: Component Modeling Technology (CMT Analog Modeling)
  • Controllers: Vector joystick, joystick, ribbon controller, switches 1 & 2
  • Effects: Over 197 Effects
  • Audio Recording: 4-track simultaneous recording, WAV file format 16bit/24bit.
  • Audio Playback: 16-Track Playback
  • Sequencer: 16-track MIDI sequencer + 16-track hard disk recorder + 1 master track.
  • Audio Inputs: 2 x 1/4" Line-in
  • Audio Outputs: 6 x 1/4" Line-out, 1 x 1/8" Headphones
  • MIDI Inputs/Outputs: In/Out/Thru
  • Other Connections: 3 x Pedal Input, 1 x S/PDIF Digital Input, 1 x S/PDIF Digital Output
  • USB: 2 x USB A (TYPE A), 1 x USB B (TYPE B)
  • Dimensions: 48.07” x 5.83” x 14.61”
  • Weight: 46.52 lbs.

Pros

The keybed makes a great impression on many who describe it as having the same playing feel as an acoustic piano. A lot of professional musicians are amazed with its sound engines showcasing a lot of variation. Each sound engine for pianos, electronic pianos, organs, analog synth and even sample based sound engines reproduce authentic and quality sounding presets. The "Set List" feature is one of the features that stood out since it allows direct access to a combination, program, or song in the sequencer to play next. Many owners also find its split, layering, velocity assignment and connectivity capabilities remarkable. Its manual also provides in depth combinations and access to parameters for more advance features.

Cons

A few users find the joystick controls to be a bit of a hassle to use and prefer a wheel-type controller.

Overall

This is an all-around versatile workstation ideal for any studio and performance setting.

The Montage 8 is Yamaha's flagship synthesizer workstation keyboard, which means that it comes with their best technology and quality control.

It features an 88-note keybed with aftertouch and balanced hammer action, along with a number of assignable faders, buttons and knobs that give you control over the instrument and your DAW software.

Speaking of knobs, it has a big Super Knob that lets you adjust multiple parameters in real-time, thanks to the company's Motion Control technology.

It also comes with built-in DSP effects engine that lets you use a wide variety of reverbs, modulation and other effects.

Other features include 16-track sequencer, envelope follower and easy MIDI/USB connectivity.

Specifications:

  • Keys: 81 Balanced Hammer Action Keys with Aftertouch
  • Polyphony: 128 Note Stereo/Mono (AWM2), 128 Note FM-X
  • Sound Engine(s): AWM2, FM-X, Motion Control Synthesis Engine
  • Controllers: Pitchbend, Mod Wheel, Ribbon Controller
  • Effects: DSP effects engine: 12 x Reverbs, 15 x Master effects, 76 x Variation types, 5-band Master EQ, 1st part 3-band EQ
  • Audio Recording: Yes
  • Audio Playback: Yes (Wav)
  • Sequencer: 16-track, 64 songs, Performance Recorder version 2
  • Audio Inputs: 2 x 1/4"
  • Audio Outputs: 2 x 1/4" (L/R), 2 x 1/4" (Assignable L/R), 1 x 1/4"(Headphones)
  • MIDI Inputs/Outputs: In/Out/Thru/USB
  • Other Connections: 2 x 1/4" (Foot controller), 1 x 1/4" (Assignable), 1 x 1/4" (Sustain)
  • USB: 1 x USB Type A, 1 x USB Type B (6 x 32)
  • Dimensions: 6.68” x 57.06” x 18.12”
  • Weight: 63.9375 lbs.

Pros

Magnificent and amazing nicely encapsulates market response towards the Montage 8, impressing users with its sounds and sensitive controls. Even those who rate it lower have nothing but good words for its sound engine and keybed.
Many are happy with how it performs as their main keyboard workstation for their home studio, serving as both their keyboard instrument and MIDI/DAW controller. It also gets a lot of thumbs up from stage performers who appreciate its versatility, Andy Jones of MusicTech agrees with this saying: "You will have to get your head around it to get the best from it, but it can take your efforts into sonic areas that will surprise and delight you, and areas you may not have considered."

Cons

There are a few users who complain about some limitations of its MIDI function. It is also worth noting that this is bulky instrument, and may not be suitable as a portable instrument.

Overall

The Yamaha Montage 8 is highly recommended for those who want a premium stage synthesizer that can double as your main workstation controller.

  • Differences between Workstation Keyboards and other Keyboards

    Workstations are a type of keyboard meant to be an all-in-one instrument for composers, music producers and performers. As such they are generally equipped with almost everything that can accommodate your performance, recording and production needs. There are several functions that set them apart from digital pianos, arrangers and other professional keyboards, including MIDI/USB control and recording, audio recording, editing features and built-in effects that are helpful in creating and finalizing songs. Since they are meant for composing and recording songs, manufacturers tend to include massive sound libraries with a wide array of instruments. In addition to those aspects, most of them have good quality synthesizers that can be used for composing full-length multi-voice tracks.

  • Sound Quality and Quantity

    Sound quality and quantity matters whether you plan to use your workstation to produce music or for general playing purposes. As mentioned above, workstations have a wide array of instrument presets, such as pianos, horns, strings, and percussion that are on par with the quality of what dedicated synthesizers can provide. A simple playback synth, or one with sample libraries, is a reasonable option if you want an authentic reproduction of sounds such as pianos, percussion, string section, and brass section. If you plan to incorporate electronic music, a workstation with an analog modeling synthesis feature also works well. Regarding sound quantity, it's highly recommended to look for a workstation that can handle and provide enough polyphony for playing and recording. The more notes it can handle, the more you can maximize your use of sequencing and recording multiple tracks.

  • Sequencing, Recording and Effects

    Since workstations are designed to address composition and production needs, the main features to keep in mind are their sequencing and recording capabilities. Workstations already have built-in MIDI sequencers for capturing, adding and editing tracks. Some of them also have a microphone or line input that lets you incorporate audio to sequenced tracks. Another feature to consider that would take your recordings to the next level are its onboard effects. Most workstations have the basic built-in effects that can be applied to individual tracks and/or the whole mix. Some of them that have audio recording capabilities have EQ and dynamic related effects. These provide more flexibility when it comes to personalizing your final sound.

  • Memory Capacity

    Memory is a considerable factor, especially when storing and accessing mixes. The types of memory you’ll find in a workstation are ROM and RAM. ROM lets you switch out different sound cards to access variety of sounds, while RAM is the amount of memory that can be recorded or sampled. It’s best to prioritize the amount ROM if you plan to focus on performing and playing the instrument. Otherwise for recording, it’s best to look for a large amount of RAM. Some workstations provide removable and expandable memory slots for memory cards and external hard drives too.

  • Other Features

    Connectivity is also another feature to consider since a lot of them come with USB or 5-pin MIDI connections for connecting and syncing them to your computer. Good workstation keyboards can work well with DAW software, especially those with convenient control mapping features. There are some workstations that include an audio sampler. This enables you to import any audio file to incorporate to your mix as long as they are compatible with your workstation. Having audio inputs for directly recording instruments is another plus. These are some of the useful features that can maximize the use of your workstation.

Best Keyboard Workstation Selection Methodology

This guide was first published in 2018 written by Denise Azucena and the latest edition was published on written by Alexander Briones with contributions from Denise Azucena and Alden Acosta.

We began by looking at all the Workstation Keyboards available from major American online music gear stores and for this 2021 edition, we placed 21 of them on a short-list for further examination - you can see them in our Music Gear Database. We then examined feedback from users and experts in the form of written reviews, ratings and forum discussions, including the most recent feedback up to mid May 2021. All these data were then fed to the Gearank Algorithm to produce the rating scores out of 100 that you see above - there were over 2,100 sources analyzed during this process, which is more than twice of what we processed in the previous edition. Finally, we selected the highest rated options to recommend in each of the price brackets above. For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.

Sours: https://www.gearank.com/guides/keyboard-workstations
Casio MZ-X300 and MZ-X500 Arranger Keyboard Demo

8 Best Keyboard Workstations For Producers In 2021

Keyboard workstations vary significantly in price, features, and overall quality. I put together this list of the best keyboard workstations, as I have owned and played nearly every option on the market.

Keyboard Workstations are an all-in-one package as they are recording studios and keyboards built into one instrument.

Not all workstations have weighted-keys, but if you get one with 88 keys they will most likely be weighted. I have been playing workstations for over 10 years now and I have learned a lot over the years about them.

Table of Contents

Quick Glance At Our Favorite Options


Keyboard workstations are versatile as you can use them as a MIDI controller and record with them with a computer or you can do everything internally. MIDI controllers are probably my favorite keyboards at the time. You can read about my favorites at the link above.

You can even record vocals and drums directly into your keyboard. Keyboard workstations are used heavily in hip-hop music, but they can also be used for singer-songwriters who aren’t well versed in working with computers.


Best Keyboard Workstations

Below is a list of the best overall keyboard workstations on the market. You will notice that there are a few standouts and a bunch of others that are also great.

1) Roland Fantom – Best Overall

The Roland Fantom has been brought back and this is impressive in pretty much every way. Packed with top of the line sounds and incredible key-bed, the Roland Fantom comes in as the best keyboard workstation.

The Fantom offers a visual approach that is super innovative and fun. The screen allows you to tweak and see changes from filter sweeps to passes.

Roland knocked the sequencer out of the park on the Fantom and I believe that this keyboard truly competes with your classic MIDI controller setup now.

In my opinion, I believe the Fantom competes with the Yamaha Genos, which is more so a keyboard arranger. Arranger keyboards are more so for live music because they allow you to set up a full band with a few clicks on the interface.

Overall Thoughts On The Fantom Workstation

This is without a doubt the best keyboard workstation available. It’s the most powerful and intuitive option yet and I think it will be extremely popular for years to come.

2) Yamaha Montage 8

For many years, many people believed that the Yamaha Montage was the best keyboard workstation available. I believe that it is definitely one of the best options that you can go with as well.

One of the coolest features on the Montage 8 is the Super knob. This can elevate some of your productions in a new an exciting way.

You can use this knob with one hand and take control of effects and sound modifications while you’re playing.

For example, you could take a piano and for a certain part, you could throw a ton of reverb on it or delay depending on what you’re looking to do. This just allows you to be incredibly dynamic with your playing.

If you need to be playing with both hands you can assign the super knob to be a foot controller as well with a pedal. There are two different sound engines on this instrument and one of them has some crazy cool synthesizers.

This keyboard workstation provides synthesizers for musicians who are looking to create chill-wave 80’s pop to EDM producers who want some buzzy basses and leads.

The Montage 8 is an upgrade to the ever-popular Yamaha Motif series. There is aftertouch on the keys and the key-bed feels really nice as well. The sound library is also massive coming in with over 2100 pre-set patches with an arpeggiator that also has over 10,000 types to pick from.

Overall Thoughts On The Yamaha Montage 8

I think this is easily one of the best keyboard workstations and the only thing I don’t like is the price. It is very expensive, but it is also a keyboard that is basically a complete recording studio all in one.

3) Korg Kronos 88

Korg is revered when it comes to talking about keyboard workstations.

It is something they do very well and the Korg Kronos 88 is their very best workstation and it is an extremely powerful machine.

This is used by a ton of professional musicians who are touring and also recording in studios.

The Korg Kronos 88 has 9 different sounds and this is the main feature that sets it apart from most other workstations. One of the sound engines is for electric piano sounds and these are top-notch.

I like the sound of Nord Electro pianos, but I really like the sounds of the electric piano on the Korg Kronos LS. There is also a sound engine for organ sounds and this sound engine as well sounds very expensive and warm.

More Features

A unique feature of this instrument is that it has a sound engine that has Analog synthesizer modeling. A product that has crazy good sounds is what the Korg Kronos is. This device is also a recording studio. The studio functions are very easy to navigate and the tools are all there for editing.

Overall Thoughts On The Korg Kronos LS 88

I think this is one of the most impressive products on the market right now and this is an instrument that you can use for your entire musical career.

4) Roland FA-08

The Roland FA-08 is great for touring musicians as well as for studio musicians.

What makes this a good keyboard for touring musicians is how light it is at only 35 pounds. I actually own this and I use it for touring and I use it as a MIDI controller. The MIDI on the FA-08 is very up to date and it immediately worked with my laptop.

In my opinion, because of its weight, I believe the FA 08 is the best keyboard workstation for live performance.

You can read my full product review of the Roland FA 08 here.

It has 16 pads that you can assign anything to inside your DAW. A good way to use the pads is to change the internal setting to pad assign mode.

When you do this you can make it so your DAW will sync with the pads and allow you to change synth sounds seamlessly. You can use these pads for drums and for other purposes as well, this is just one function.

Key-Bed

The key-bed on Roland products, in general, is fantastic and this is the same case. They’re known for their ivory feel G series and personally, they’re some of my favorite keys on an instrument because they feel like a real piano. They feel as close to ivory as they possibly can.

I have always loved the synth sounds of Rolands as they just sound so warm and inviting to me. This instrument has some really beautiful sounding pads and huge swelling bass sounds. Roland has its trademark D-beam on the FA-08 and this is a neat feature.

I haven’t found a great use for it other than it’s fun to play with and looks cool. You just hover your hover hand over the sensor and it triggers crazy-sounding synths.

Overall Thoughts On The Roland FA-08

This is one of the cheaper workstations on the market and it packs a powerful punch. I think this is a great product overall and I am happy to own it.

I think it’s very easy to say that this is currently the best keyboard workstation for those on a budget.

*The FA 08 is also available in 61 keys and 73 keys.

5) Kurzweil PC3K6 61-Key Synthesizer Workstation

The Kurzweil PC3K6 has a massive sample library. This is something that is exciting for all musicians.

Having thousands of sounds is just fun and it’s also extremely helpful for inspiration.

There are over 300 different effects you can play with including reverb, delay, chorus, distortion, EQ, and compression.

I like having a keyboard workstation with plenty of effects because when it comes to fine-tuning a song sometimes you can find an effect that changes the whole backbone of your idea.

There is a built-in arpeggiator on the Kurzweil PC3k8 and it also has a sequencer that has unlimited tracks. When you need to update the keyboard there are free upgrades for your operating system as well.

Overall Thoughts On The Kurzweil PC3k8

I believe this competes with Korg and Roland for a fantastic instrument.

Best Budget Workstations

Below are a few looks at workstations that are under $1000. There are some solid choices and I personally love the MOXF6.

6) Yamaha MOXF6 Music Production Workstation – Best Under $1000

The Yamaha MOXF6 is a music keyboard that is affordable, yet still packs a powerful punch.

I wouldn’t put this on the same level as the high-end products, but I would put it on the level right below them. The MOXF6 has 61 keys, but there is a version with 88 keys as well. The keys on this are semi-weighted since it only has 61 keys.

I like that this is more portable than most keyboard workstations in the sense that it’s a little smaller and lighter. You can use the flash drive and install synthesizer samples and I really like this. You can download some serious vintage synths such as the CS-80 by Yamaha.

There are 3900 pre-set sounds, but as far as straight-up synthesized sounds, there is a little bit of lacking here. Definitely, use the flash drive to install more synthesizers if that is what you’re looking for. This also has the capability to be used as a MIDI controller as well.

Overall Thoughts On The MOXF 6

The MOXF6 is one of the best keyboard workstations under $1,000.

7) Korg Kross 2

The Korg Kross 2 is the Korg entry-level keyboard workstation. This is the most portable workstation in the sense that it is only 8 pounds.

The Kross 2 has over 1,000 pre-set sounds. This does not have speakers built-in so you will need to connect to your computer or an amplifier for sound.

You can run this on just AA batteries making it portable friendly for any musician. If you are using a DAW, you can use this keyboard with it as a controller.

Overall Thoughts On The Korg Kross 2

For the price, this is a good choice. I wouldn’t put this up against the Roland’s or high-end Korg and Yamaha’s though.

8) Casio WK 6600 – Best Keyboard Workstation For Under $300

This is very entry-level, but I will say I was surprised when playing this. Casio has come a long way and they’re products are not what they were 15-20 years ago. The sounds on Casio keyboards actually surprise me as they sound pretty realistic.

This is for the musician who wants to wet their feet before spending a ton of money seeing how this is a very cheap price.

If you go into this keyboard workstation not expecting the most amazing product, you will be very happy. It comes with 76 keys, but you can also find it with 61 or 88 as well. There are sliders that you can use with your DAW or just use to tweak your sounds internally.

Overall Thoughts On The Casio WK 6600

It is crazy this is so inexpensive, for that reason I think it makes this a good purchase for a beginning to intermediate music producer.


Things To Look For In A Keyboard Workstation

Sound Quality And Number Of Sound Pre-Sets

The quality of the sound samples on your instrument is important for musicians looking to record in a studio, play live or just play for their own fun. A big reason why musicians like to play these instruments is that the sounds typically are much better than normal keyboards sounds.

The sound library is usually pretty massive on a keyboard workstation and this is another big thing to pay attention to.

You want to find something that has a lot of different sounds, yet you also want to make sure that the samples sound realistic and not cheap. When you’re dealing with these you usually are getting high-quality sounding samples from strings to drums.

Sound quality also refers to the customization you are able to do to your sound of choice.

Having the ability to alter sounds and tweak them to your liking is a big plus with these types of keyboards. If you have a sound that you like, but it needs a little refining, then you will want the controls to be able to do so.


The Key-Beds On A Keyboard Workstation

The key-bed, in general, is very important when it comes to deciding on which keyboard is right for you. Some key-beds come with 88 keys, others with 76, 73, 61, and some even have only 49 keys. When you purchase a workstation with less than 88 keys, the keys will likely not be weighted.

Now, this is a preference of the musician on whether or not they want weighted keys. I have a piano background so when I pick keyboards I always prefer a one with weighted keys.

There are semi-weighted key-beds that don’t feel awful, you just have to find the right one. If you don’t have a piano background, not having weighted keys isn’t going to be a big deal then as you don’t know the difference between semi-weighted and weighted keys.


RAM/ROM

Rom stands for “Read Only Memory” and what this does is allows you to add memory cards with more songs to your instrument.

The more Rom your keyboard has, the better in the long run. Ram stands for “Random Access Memory” and this determines the amount of you will have on your instrument for sampling. If you’re going to be doing a significant amount of sampling then you will want more ram.


Computer Interface Of Your Keyboard Workstation

Most will have a USB interface so you can transfer data. Some have built-in audio interfaces which means you will save a lot of money and not have to invest in additional software for recording. One thing I like to do is use it as a MIDI controller because then I can access unlimited sounds through a DAW.


Effects

We will be talking about the effects that come with each product pretty extensively because this is an important feature. You want to have a keyboard workstation that has a lot of effects and effects that are easy to use and implement.

Putting effects on certain sounds or audio clips can take an idea or a song to the next level and become the backbone of it. Becoming familiar with effects is also important if you don’t fully understand what they are because you want to be able to take advantage of all your instruments abilities.


Audio And Sequencing

You can pre-record parts into your instrument for when you’re playing live and want to have more parts playing to fill the sound out. This is one of the nicest features in a workstation and a function that makes it very valuable.

You can use MIDI to also hook up to a laptop for live performance if you want to have even more access to sounds. However, with a workstation, you are able to setup live-sets that have all of your sounds so it is easier to navigate for a performer.


Sound Layering

This is something these instruments make very user-friendly. These are such good tools for a film score composer because they are able to instantly hear what certain sounds like when layered immediately. Workstations make it so you can layer multiple sounds together to create warm and large sounding patches.


Type Of Synthesizers

This is where workstations really match what their price value is. If you want a keyboard workstation that has great sounding synths, you will want to consider an expensive one that has multiple sound engines for this purpose.

The entry-level stations are going to always supply you with the best synths in the big picture. Something with different sound engines and tons of pre-set patches would definitely be the route if synthesizers are important to you.

Is A Keyboard Workstation Good For Gigs

100%. These can be awesome for gigging as you can save your whole live set on it prior to performing. This makes it so you can easily switch from song pre-sets. The key-beds are typically fantastic as well.

If you can afford a workstation, I would recommend getting a nice one rather than getting a really nice digital piano. Digital pianos are great as well, however, they don’t have near the abilities of that of a workstation. Even if the piano sounds are better on the digital piano, you can still get expansion packs and download new ones.

One thing that I will mention is that workstations can be pretty heavy. If you are wanting to tour, the FA-08 is hands-down the best choice as it’s light, durable, and simply powerful. They also fit in 88 key keyboard cases exceptionally well.


Conclusion

We have provided you with the very best keyboard workstations available for all budgets. If you enjoy making beats on keyboards, check out this post where I talk about the best beat making keyboards at the link above.

If you enjoyed this post or use another product that I didn’t mention, let me know in the comments below!

Chris Senner

Chris Senner is a passionate keyboardist, songwriter & blogger from Milwaukee, WI. He's toured the country with Vinyl Theatre & now has developed a passion for writing about all things keyboards.

7 comments
  1. I think you should take a hard look at the Yamaha Genos.

    There are many Kronos etc, gathering dust, because the workstation fiddle factor is high. Fantom is very attractive, but the Genos much more so for “players”. It’s weaker on sound design, but far stronger for playing and recording in the real world.

    Getting a huge update shortly, as well. Many good vids on the tube about it.

    1. Hi there,

      Totally love the Genos! I have a full-on review of the Genos as well as including it as my favorite Arranger keyboard!

    2. How the Yamaha psr ew410 isn’t on this list is completely beyond me, it’s affordable, reliable has 76 keys and just a damn good sounding board, why ANYONE would drop 3k on a 61 key board makes zero sense

      1. Hi Lance, the PSR EW410 is a great keyboard, however, this article is about the best workstations and it’s not a workstation.

  2. Very helpful, direct and fair. It is obvious to me I need to consider spending a little more time with my Roland Fantom before I toss for a Geno. Also from a weight standpoint, the Roland Jupiter XM is very portable with lots of sounds but only has 37 keys

  3. Hey Chris,

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.

    I guess I would be considered a closet composer, considering I have no accolades to boast about.

    I currently own an older Roland VA76 V-Arranger with 128 voice polyphony. For me, it’s been great.

    I have it setup at the foot of my bed. Thus, eliminating the midnight trudge from my bed to my studio in the basement, when I wake up in the middle of the night with a musical thought.

    However, what I need is a workstation that can accept vocals and have the ability to do everything with the vocals that my VA76 can do with instrumentation. Is there such an animal out there?

    I know I can setup a laptop on my VA stand, and with the proper software, I could blend the two, (instrumentation and vocals) for a finished product.

    The problem is, then I would have to learn all that, and frankly, I’m too damn old and don’t have the patience for that much LEARNIN.

    So, again, is there a workstation that could help me get my music out to the world? Thanks brother.

    1. As far as being able to put out recording that sound like they would with a DAW, that will be very hard with a workstation.

      With this being said, You can look into the newest Fantom workstation. I think this would be the closest thing to what you’re looking for. I had the old Fantom G8 and I was able to record vocals and edit them a little bit. The problem was that the files were massive to upload and it was kind of a pain.

      It may be cheaper to use your VA 76 and then look into a microphone/audio interface. You can use free DAWs that are actually really easy to use. This would be my recommendation.

Sours: https://keyboardkraze.com/best-keyboard-workstation/

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