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Author Topic: My newest toy, a keyboard  (Read 2290 times)


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My newest toy, a keyboard
« on: July 18, 2011, 08:46:37 AM »
Not one that you type on, but one you make music with. I purchased a Casio WK-500 76 key synthesizer last month and I have been having a blast with it. 670 tones, 200 rhythms, 150 songs built in, USB interface and an SD card slot. Here is a list of the amazing set of features:

76 piano-style keys
Touch Response (2 sensitivity levels, off)
48-note polyphony (maximum)
670 high-quality tones including stereo grand piano tones
200 rhythms including 77 ethnic rhythms and 20 patterns for piano play
Rhythm Editor: 10 user rhythms
152 Song Bank tunes, including 50 Exercise phrases
Song Expansion: 10 songs maximum, approximately 320 KB total
Music Preset (305 presets)
Registration (8 banks x 4 sets for 32 setups)
One Touch Preset (200 presets)
Digital Effects: 10 reverbs, 5 choruses
Preset Scale (16 scales)
Scale memory (4scales)
Recorder: 6 tracks x 5 songs, 1 lesson song, approximately 12,000 notes total
Auto Harmonize (12 types)
Arpeggiator (90 types)
Rhythm / Song Bank Controller
Musical Information System (Backlit LCD)
USB port for computer connection
GM level 1 compatible
1/4" Line outputs
SD Card Slot
Pitch Wheel
Speakers: 12cm x 2, 5cm x 2 (amplifier: 6W + 6W)
Comes with song book, music stand, and AD12 ML adapter
Batteries: D-size x 6 (not included)

This is quite a contrast to the first synth I owned. It was a Paia P 4700/J that I bought in 1978. It was in kit form, like a Heathkit and took me a week to assemble. It was a modular design that had to be patched with these wires to make it create a sound. It took about 15 minutes to change from one sound to another sound and there were no instructions on how to get it to make any sound in particular. It was a true digital device and consumer digital devices were extremely rare in the 70s. This was 5 years before CD players hit the market. The keyboard plugged directly into a digital to analogue converter and the rest of the unit was analogue. It had waveform generators, filters, sequencers, envelope generators and a bunch of other modules I have forgotten. It looks like ancient history compared to the WK-500 but at the time it was pure magic. Now I have 670 different tones available at the push of a button. In between these two gems I have probably owned another dozen different synths and I have loved them all. Too much fun.

Of course the most amazing thing about these two synths is the price. The Paia cost me a bit over $1000 and the Casion was $179 with free shipping, and I didn't have to put it together.


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Re: My newest toy, a keyboard
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 09:03:17 AM »
Nice set of features Tom. I bought a couple of Yamaha keyboards a few (10) years ago and taught myself to read music and play. Unfortunately, I never learned to type, and I play the electronic keyboard about as well as I type. But nevertheless lots of fun.

I still go back to the keyboard when I run across a uke tune for which I don't know the melody; Plonk it out on the keyboard first, and the combination of my ears and voice can usually get it right.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.


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Re: My newest toy, a keyboard
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 09:21:38 AM »
I have used a keyboard to figure out a guitar part I could not get with just the guitar and visa versa. I learned to play guitar two years before I learned to play piano and once I learned piano it really helped me figure out exactly what chords were all about. Chords are so cryptic looking on a guitar and they are so logical on a keyboard. So learning each one really helped me learn the other one.

The guy who first taught me how to play piano was a music teacher friend of mine from high school. He taught me to play piano in the Paul McCartney school of piano. Bass octaves in the left hand and simple chords in the right hand. I am terrible at reading music but with the Paul method I can usually fake my way through any song.