Casio XW-P1 Synth
The XW-P1 is a new performance synth from Casio, their first synth release in many years, over 20 in fact. The wide-ranging Japanese consumer goods manufacturer has maintained a profile among musicians with a mix of arranger keyboards and electronic pianos, but this new offering combines the usual piano sounds with a ‘virtual analogue’ synthesis engine. ...more
KORG Krome 88-Key Workstation
I thought the best way to get inside this new Korg Krome workstation to test its abilities and features was to dive straight in the deep end and attempt to make a West Coast g-funk banger. ...more
Yamaha MOX6 (61-note) Music Production Synth
Back in the ’70s I used to get asked this question a lot: “What is the difference between a synthesiser and an electronic organ?”
I would try to explain it, usually to the bemusement of the enquirer, who could only spot that both had keyboards. Fast forward to 2011 and the question is now; “What’s the difference between a synthesiser, a keyboard workstation and a professional arranger?”
Today the answer is much simpler, ie: “Not a lot, they probably all function as a combined ROMpler, sequencer, and MIDI controller.” In short, various keyboard types have converged into a Swiss army knife-style keyboard that is supposedly just as good on stage as it is at home or in the studio. Sidestepping the issue, Yamaha have decided to name this new keyboard a ‘Music Production Synthesiser’. So what exactly is their new offering? Let’s explore the 61-note MOX6…
Casio Privia PX-830BP Digital Piano
Wandering into Piano Traders on the search for the Casio Privia PX-830BP, I felt as if I was on a blind date, looking around for the one I was meant to be meeting. Having no idea of what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised to find that like its description, this digital piano is indeed a musical equivalent of tall, dark and handsome. ...more
The last decade has done almost nothing for the development for the digital piano – and, until last week I thought it had more or less reached its zenith. I mean, in terms of technology and sound quality… what else is there to do?
Kawai MP5 Stage Piano
With its impressive legacy in acoustic and concert grand pianos, Kawai does not resonate as a rock 'n roll piano brand in quite the same way as fellow Japanese brands like Roland, Korg or Yamaha.Having had a chance to experience the Kawai MP5 Stage Piano for a week or two I can say this shouldn't remain the case.
Roland Juno Stage Synth
Roland have recently introduced a new addition to their Juno family, the Juno Stage, which the Roland website describes as being 'designed from the ground up for live performance'. Catch phrases like 'new breed' and 'sets a new standard' aside, the new Juno does make good on what is ultimately an extremely simple and honest promise. ...more
Synthesiser: Korg M3
The M3 is Korg's latest workstation keyboard, delivering the highlights of Korg's flagship Oasys model at a more affordable rrp of $3599. Complex synthesis patches can be intimately manipulated and modified. You can record and incorporate your own samples, the onboard sequencer is relatively painless and can play back audio, and the workstation integrates seamlessly with a computer-based studio via USB.
Korg R3 Synthesiser/Vocoder
The micro Korg offers a spectacularly variable and complex range of alterable sounds and this is no different with the R3. ...more
Yamaha MOTIV X56 Workstatoin Snth
This is the baby of the latest series of Motif workstation synthesisers by Yamaha, available in 61-, 76- and 88-key models; the XS6, XS7 and XS8 respectively. ...more
Clavia - Nord Stage 73 Compact Synthesiser
Surely the synthesiser must be the ultimate creative and expressive tool of the electronic musician. ...more
Korg X50 Synthesiser
The Korg X50 is a new, entry-level synthesiser that weighs about the same as an electric guitar, is incredibly easy to use, and has a wide variety of quality sounds. ...more
Roland SH-201 Synthesiser
For Roland, it all started with the SH series of synths. To be sure, it's all Fantom, XV and VK today but back in 1973 Roland produced Japan's first keyboard synth ever, the SH-1000. ...more
Yamaha MO6 Synthesiser
I like to personify inanimate objects with human names, so that I can attach false feelings of warmth and companionship to them. Ladies and gentlemen I'd like to introduce you to my new mate 'Mo' - an achingly modern, compact lightweight party in a box that is the Yamaha MO6. He's one slick Mo-fo. Mo sleeps in a cardboard box with the words 'synthesizeur de production musicale' on the side, so he is very international. We are friends. ...more
Korg OASYS Workstation
There is a strong sense of contradiction in what I am about to do. That is, write a 1000 word review of a synthesiser that has 1023 page 'parameter guide' (No, not the 'manual', that's several hundred pages extra!) ...more
Alesis Fusion 6HD Workstation
Have you ever wanted a synth that combined the latest synthesis methods with those of some of the top synths of both yester-year together in a box that worked as a fully-fledged workstation? ...more
Casio Privia PX-310
When I first tried a Casio Privia it was to review the PX-500L for the June/July '04 issue of NZM. I enjoyed reviewing this keyboard - it was good value for money and it did everything it claimed to, so I was most interested to see what the PX-310 had to offer. ...more
The Fantom-X is Roland's current flagship workstation keyboard, building on the success of the original 2002 Fantom series, and the Fantom-S (2004). Classic features include the 320 x 240 colour LCD screen, the D-Beam, drum pads, and 24-bit D/A converters. ...more
Nord Electro 2 Stage Keyboard
The Clavia Digital Musical Instruments company have definitely got something right with Nord keyboards. Right down to the imagery they have opted for to reflect style and simplicity. It's in the way the font rolls around the letters n-o-r-d. It's in the fact that all their instruments are an even brighter red than a Swiss Army knife and it's in the way that they've avoided the temptation to tart up their keyboard casings with space age swirls and lights.
M-Audio Ozonic Controller
We have certainly witnessed some interesting changes in keyboard technology over the past two and a half decades: changes all made in the name of more expressive user control over the sounds with which we create music. ...more
Roland Juno-D Synthesiser
In Roman mythology Juno is queen of the gods. And in the glorious kingdom of vintage synthesiser geeks, Roland's 1982-85 Juno series are revered like royalty. ...more
Yamaha Motif ES8 Synthesiser
'Congratulations you have made a great choice with your purchase of the Yamaha Motif ES8 synthesiser. This product will provide you more hours of pleasure than any of our competitors' products you may have considered buying instead.' ...more
Korg Legacy Collection Software/Synth
It feels like I'd been waiting my whole life for someone to create a virtual Korg MS-20. Not only is it my favourite analogue synthesiser, but it was also the first synthesiser I ever owned. ...more
Casio Privia PX-500L Digital Piano
When I first opened the box and pulled out this keyboard (digital piano), I was very impressed at the size, weight and look of the Casio Privia PX-500L.
Arturia CS-80V Synth Software
As a third former at Auckland Grammar, 1978 is a year I remember well. It was as a clarinettist in the school concert band and orchestra that I first encountered the school's mighty Yamaha CS-80.
Korg Synth MS200B
Korg's MS2000B is a small, good-looking, chunky little synth with knobs and wheels to turn and buttons to press. ...more
Cakewalk's Project 5 Soft Synth Workstation
The synthesiser must be one of the most slowly evolving electronic instruments in the modern studio. Not so much because the slow evolution of the actual sounds, but in their speed from moving from the hardware environment to a dedicated software climate.
Novation KS5 Synthesiser
In my experience, too many synthesisers work very hard at being general. Many provide a plethora of strings, pianos, basses and drum sounds. Yet, sonorities required for specialist applications all too often take a back seat in such machines. So, I was absolutely delighted when I was asked to review a synthesiser that is aimed squarely at the dance market. Introducing the Novation KS5.
Casio WK-3500 Keyboard
When NZ Musician dropped off the Casio WK-3500 to my home in Mt Eden I wondered if I had been delivered veteran promoter Johnny Leech's surfboard by accident.
Casio PS-20 Digital Piano
Purists likely still hate them while gigging pianists have got used to using them and have come to love them. The digital piano (once the electric piano) has made things a lot easier for the pianist who wants to travel. In some countries the cost of hiring a grand piano, having it delivered to a venue and tuned before the performance can almost equal the cost of buying your own digital instrument. ...more
Nord Lead 3
Part of the third generation of Clavia's Nord Lead series, the Nord Lead 3 synthesiser is hailed by its makers as extending beyond the original definition of 'virtual analogue', taking on the impressive title of "advanced subtractive performance synthesiser". ...more