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The Best Casio CDP 120 Review: It Is A Good Digital Keyboard!

It is an undeniable fact that Casio has been in a constant struggle against the perception that they are a brand of cheap products. There is a current stream of an idea that Casio pianos are for just for amateur players.

Of course, at some point, the brand has something to do with it. Fortunately, they are beginning to correct it. And among their redeeming products is the Casio CDP 120.

For starters, the Casio CDP 120 is an upgraded version of the CDP 100. We already mentioned in our separate review for this product that it is a good digital piano. It has excellent features that can serve any practicing pianists with ease.

Now that they have released the CPD 120, it is not surprising that the latter has qualities that surpass its predecessors.

Overall, the Casio CDP 120 is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a good alternative to an acoustic piano. It comes with a lot of features as well. To know more about this digital piano, just read this Casio CDP 120 review.

But before we dissect this keyboard, let us highlight some of the key considerations in choosing a digital piano.

Guide To The Best Piano Brands Of 2017

Bartolomeo Cristofori, an Italian maker of musical instruments, created the piano in the year 1700. Since then, it has become one of the most sought after instruments in making music.

Today, different piano makers from all over the world offer exceptional piano features and characteristics.

If you think of a piano brand, some of the biggest names are Yamaha, Fazioli, Bosendorfer, and a lot more. Find out more about these brands and why most musicians consider them as the best.

The Casio CDP 130 Review: One Of The Best Digital Pianos

The recent years is like a rocky boat for Casio. They have their respective ups and downs, which is pretty common for a music brand. Fortunately, they release the Casio CDP 130.

Aside from the CDP 100 and CDP 120, the CDP 130 is another commendable opus that you should not ignore. To fully know about this product, better read this complete Casio CDP 130 review.

Primarily, the Casio CDP 130 is an improved version of the 120 and 100. Those two are great in their right already, but it seems that Casio is not that satisfied yet. Currently, the CDP 130 is one of the best-selling digital pianos in the market today.

Of course, it is a standard keyboard that possesses all the features of its predecessors. Moreover, it also comes with additional perks that are certainly worth looking at.

We will discuss more of these later. But for the meantime, let us go to some of the basics of a digital piano. In this way, you will be able to discern if a digital keyboard is worth your money or not.

The Best Casio CDP 230 Review: Is This An Excellent Digital Piano?

A digital piano is a helpful instrument that can broaden your musical affinity. That's why it is essential to choose a model that can cater your needs, regardless if it is for practice or live performance.

Of course, there are a lot of choices for this. But if you want a reliable one, try considering the Casio CDP 230.

Casio is a controversial brand of musical instruments. But it is undeniable that their products have excellent build and performance.

For example, the Casio CDP 120 and CDP 130 have surprisingly excellent performance. If you want, you can read our separates for these digital pianos.

But for now, let us focus on the Casio CDP 230. This digital keyboard has a lot to showcase for its users. In fact, it is a known upgraded version of the CDP 130.

Therefore, you can guarantee that the same AHL sound engine is present. For more information about this digital piano, better read this Casio CDP 230.

Casio CTK 2090 Review: One Of The Best 61-Key Digital Piano

A digital piano is a stepping stone for anyone who aspires to become great in this instrument. After all, it is not practical to instantly jump to an acoustic or grand piano.

Those models are way too expensive. As a result, it would never be too wise to invest them immediately.

However, not all digital piano are worth your money. Some of them have shabby and poor quality. So what piano should you get? Well, this is the part where this Casio CTK 2090 review comes into play.

Specifically, this 61-key digital keyboard has a lot of awesome features that are certainly for beginners.

Casio released the CTK 2090 alongside with their LK-175V. Both of these are beautiful pieces of digital pianos that come with impressive sampling features.

Therefore, even they have some limitations, they can still sound like a real acoustic piano.

We will discuss more of this instrument in just a while. For the meantime, we will have to highlight the essential features that your digital piano should possess.

In this way, you will be able to know if a particular digital piano is worth trying or not. Here are they!

Casio CDP 100 Review: Features, And Other Things You Need To Know!

If you are looking for a digital piano, then you should consider the Casio CDP 100. Specifically, it is an 88-key weighted piano that is worth your attention.

But before you purchase this device, make sure that you know product’s full specifications already.

Fortunately, you don't need to go anywhere to do this. All of the information about this digital keyboard is already in this Casio CDP 100 review article. Hence, sit back and relax. We got you covered!

The Casio CDP 100 is an excellent choice for musicians that are tight on budget. This is due to its affordable value, which is one of its greatest points. However, you should not underestimate its quality.

We can ascertain you that this product emanates the exact feeling that you can get from a grand piano. Of course, this is due to its grand piano sampling and the special hammer action of the keys.

There a lot of features that you will love about the Casio CDP 100. But before that, let us discuss a little bit about the things that you should look for a digital piano.

Korg Minilogue Review: The Best Analog Synthesizers

Are you looking for a great synthesizer? Then it is quite a must to read this Korg Minilogue review. In here, we will feature the reasons why this particular synth can be the next best choice for you. Read on!


About Korg Minilogue

Korg Minilogue

Get it via Amazon.com

If you have been in the music industry for a long time already, you are probably familiar with the brand Korg. This particular name is a luminary when it comes to musical instruments. Specifically, they are specializing on crafting quality analog synthesizers.

Moreover, they are quite known to produce excellent products at a very low price. Good examples of such are the Volca and Monotron Series. Their reinvented classic products like the ARP Odyssey and MS-20 also exhibits astute performance and affordability at the same time.

However, the biggest arsenal that the Korg created so far is perhaps the Minilogue. Specifically, this device is a keyboard poly synthesizer that possesses four independent voices.

We all know how expensive synths are. But you will be surprised that the Minilogue has a massive reduction in its price. That's not something you can see on a daily basis.

Minilogue is a unique product of Korg. Unlike their previous synths, the circuitry of the Minilogue has an original concept. As a result, this product offers features that we have never heard from Korg.

Of course, we should emphasize the stage and desktop applications were among the priorities of Korg when they created the Minilogue.

In this article, we will showcase the different features of Korg Minilogue. Is this product worth buying? Or is it an option that you can simply ignore? All of the answers to these curious questions are here! So what are you waiting for? Read on!

Korg Minilogue Review

Korg Minilogue Review

Get it via Amazon.com

The Basic Design

The Korg Minilogue has an outstanding design and interface. As we mentioned earlier, this device comes with four independent voices. Each of them possesses oscillators.

Meanwhile, the oscillators can provide excellent triangle, sawtooth, and square waveform patterns. Of course, they wouldn't be complete with the noise source.

You can control these oscillators through the use of its unique phase switch control. On the other hand, it also comes with a "Shape Control” that allows you to configure the waveforms.

Stylish is the term that we will connote to the Minilogue. Its ambiance is pretty irresistible already. The controls and settings are highly innovative and fully programmable, too!

We know that many artists are longing for authentic analog sounds. If that is on your mind, then this polyphony synthesizer will serve you best!

The aesthetics and build of the Minilogue are pretty convincing. Its front panel is coated with anodized silver aluminum. The furnish itself enhances the durability of this device. Moreover, it has an intuitive contour design as well, which adds to its usability.

Meanwhile, the chassis is from the combination of specialized plastic. It is complemented by the back panel made from Pyinkado wood.

If you don't know, this particular South Asian hardwood is very durable. Therefore, this product can withstand multiple usages for many years!

On the panel, you can see the twenty-nine plastic dials and fourteen metal switches. Each of these controls receives and sends MIDI signal, as well. They have metal shafts, too, which contributes to their overall durability.

When we reviewed this product, we noticed that it has a better premium "feel" compared to other more expensive synthesizers. In that aspect, the Korg Minilogue has the upper hands.

Overall, we can say that the Korg Minilogue is truly ergonomic. Well, it might not be the case if you are new to synthesizers.

But if you are already familiar with these instruments, you will realize how user-friendly this synth is! If you compared it to other synths, Minilogue simply stands out!

Specifications Of Korg Minilogue

Here is the full specification of Korg Minilogue Analog Synthesizer. Read this thoroughly so that you won't miss any important facts about this product!

  • 37-key keyboard bed (highly responsive slim keys)
  • Analog synthesis sound generation
  • Four-voice maximum polyphony
  • 100 presets to 100 users ratio
  • Each of the programs has sequence data and voice mode settings
  • Maximum of eight programs you can save
  • Sixteen step polyphonic sequencer.

Synthesis Configurations:

  • VCO1 (Octave, Pitch, Shape, and Wave)
  • VCO2 Modulation (Sync, Pitch EG Int, Ring, and Cross Mod Depth)
  • Mixer (Noise, VCO2, and VCO1)
  • Filter (Resonance, EG Int, Keytrack, Velocity, Cutoff, 2-Pole, and 4-Pole)
  • AMP EG (Release, Decay, Attack, and Sustain)
  • EG (Release, Decay, Attack, and Sustain)
  • Delay (Time, Output Routing, Feedback, and Hi-Pass Cutoff).
  • Display: OLED oscilloscope (real time)

Key Features Of Korg Minilogue

Authentic Analog Sound

The circuits of Minilogue are among the newest in the industry. When we tested this synth, we indeed experienced a sound like no other.

Among its class, we can say that the Korg Minilogue is the unprecedented one. Of course, it is among the few synths that are using a four-voice analog system.

Meanwhile, taking advantage of this feature is not difficult, thanks to its convenient interface. It doesn't matter if you perform in studios or live, this particular synthesizer will allow you to produce an authentic analog synthesis.

Specifically, the structure of the synthesizer is composed of the following: 1VCF, 1 VCA, 1LFO 2VCO, and 2EG. This kind of setup allows the Minilogue to manipulate the harmonics of the oscillators finely.

As a result, you can be able to create out-of-this-world compositions and sounds.

The Minilogue is also using various kinds of modulations. Such of these are the oscillator sync, ring modulator, and cross modulator.

The Hi-pass filter and Delay are also present in this synthesizers. Therefore, you can create any of those sounds that are iconic to an analog synth.

Perfect Polyphony

Despite being an analog synthesizer, it is undeniable that Korg Minilogue goes beyond that. Among all the contenders on the same price range, it is only the Korg Minilogue that comes with 200 preset locations.

Selecting any of these presets will give you access to unique sounds. From sharp leads up to tingling atmospheric effects, this device has them all!

Moreover, there is no need for you to become a genius of synthesis so that you can take advantage all of these features.

As we stated, all you have to do is to pick a preset, and you are ready to go! You can even tweak it the way you want it. Of course, we all know that musicians excel at that.

When we tested this product, we found out that it got 200 programs. Excluded on that is a set of 100 default factory settings which are all editable. It also got 100 unique locations that will serve as your canvas for your next creation.

It is also good to note that all of the preset comes with a delay and step sequence settings. This synthesizer is handy!

Voice Modes and Sound Performance

The voice modes of Korg Minilogue are the ones that can manipulate the four-voice setup. Specifically, you can freely configure the voice so that the polyphony can have a blend of leads and basses.

Or you can simply mix it into a parade of chords. Other options will even give you sudden shifts from octave to bass. In short, the possibilities are virtually limitless!

Here are the voice modes that you can use in the Minilogue:

  • Poly
  • Duo
  • Mono
  • Chord
  • Unison
  • ARP
  • Side Chain
  • Delay

Another great feature of the Korg Minilogue is its modulation and pitch bend control. You can find this control just above the keyboard's lower notes.

The main function of this one is to complement with the instrument's various parameters. Such of these are the filter, gate length, and envelope settings.

Meanwhile, the Ring Modulation, Cross Modulation, and Ring Modulation features of Minilogue will allow you to savor bright harmonics and metallic sounds.

If you combine these tones with the Key Tracking and Velocity sensitivity functions, you will be able to create sophisticated timbres, too.

16-Step Sequencer

The 16-step sequencer of the Korg Minilogue will allow any musician to be intuitive and creative. This feature comes with various recording capabilities that will fully harness the sound your produce.

We noticed that the Minilogue is good with providing quick recordings and overdubbing.

It also got a Step Recording feature that enables you to record by just specifying the notes that you want to include. Such capability is necessary for creating performances and phrases.

Minor Issues Of Korg Minilogue

So far, we find the Korg Minilogue to be an adequate analog synthesizer. But somehow, we noticed some missing components that synthesizers must have. Such of these are the pedal and the "Sample-and-Hold" inputs.

Overall, this device is not quirky. But you might find the operation of the Velocity, Sync, Ring, and Key Tracking to be quite peculiar. Specifically, their positions are not as intuitive. But it is not the exactly a deal breaker that will give your money a run.

Another thing that we have to note is that the factory presets of Korg Minilogue tend to be noisy. It somehow imbibes a party feeling. We know that some of you don't like that kind of setup.

Fortunately, Minilogue is quite programmable. Therefore, you can make those traditional analog synthesizer sounds such as rich bass, flutes, and percussions.

Final Verdict

In the end, we can say that investing to Korg Minilogue is a wise thing to do. First, it is extremely affordable and gives you enough value for your money.

Moreover, it provides a lot of features and programmable settings that will never limit your creativity. Also, we have to emphasize that this device is easy to use.

Although it has some inadequacies, the Minilogue has still an overwhelming performance. It is perfect for both professionals and amateurs.

Furthermore, it is has a durable construction, too. The hardware is not flimsy, and everything stays classy and stylish even years will pass!

For us, the very reason why musicians love analog synths is due to the quality of their sound.

Of course, we have to take into the account the level of control they give to us. If you integrate all these aspects together, the instrument will allow its user to be as expressive as he/she wants to be.

And among the analog synths today, the Korg Minilogue proves to be the embodiment of such ideals. From accessibility to the availability of sound parameters, this instrument has them all.

We recommend the Minilogue to anyone who wants to experience the sound of an authentic analog synthesizer. If you are among them, then you should grab your unit of this instrument now!

Did you learn from this Korg Minilogue review? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below! Also, do not forget to share this article to your social media accounts! Give your love to us!


Best MIDI Keyboard Controllers 2021- Buyers Guide

Are you looking for the best MIDI keyboard controllers? Then this article will help you a lot! We have listed some of the top rated MIDIs in the market today for you to see.

Of course, we have taken into account each of these features to make sure that we got it all covered for you.

MIDI keyboard controllers are getting popular as days are passing. In fact, the growth of these new musical instruments is so unprecedented that they just happened in just a few years time.

With the help of various technological advancements, devices like MIDI keyboard controllers are becoming accessible to many musicians.

Using a digital setup brings a lot of conveniences. However, it is undeniable many still glorifies the quality of analog and tradition equipment.

Regardless of your preference, integrating both analog and digital technologies can enhance the overall output that you can produce.

At this point, it is time for you to know the best MIDI keyboard controllers. We listed different options for you. In this way, you can choose depending on your preference, need, or budget. So what are you waiting for? Read on!

Top 5 Best MIDI Keyboard Controllers

Akai Professional MPK249

Via: Amazon.com

It is undeniable that the Akai Professional MPK249 is among the most popular MIDI keyboard manufacturers today. Their first MPK series was able to dominate the market for many years.

Because of this, Akai became one of the most preferred options when it comes to MIDI instruments. Today, they have released another upgrade for the original MPK. And that is in the form of MPK249.

MPK249 has a convincing quality. When it comes to stability and functions, the Akai MPK249 lacks nothing. Moreover, you can also get a software bundle upon the purchase of this product.

This MIDI equipment is also available on various key count models. Not to mention, all of these versions have the following essential software: Ableton Live Lite, SONiVOX Twist 2.0, and AiR Hybrid 3.0.

When it comes to key make, we can confidently say that the Akai MPK249 is the most sturdy. It is ultra responsive and sensitive as well. Meanwhile, it comes with a drum pad that you can provide you various sound assignments.


Pros:

  • Keys are semi-weighted and full sized (comes with aftertouch).
  • Drum pads are velocity sensitive (have four possible banks).
  • LCD interface is high resolution.
  • Comes with octave controls and pitch bend wheel.
  • Control knobs and assignable faders are present.

Cons:

  • It is an expensive choice.
  • Installing the software is quite difficult.
Novation Impulse 49

Via: Amazon.com

In the present, we can say that the Novation Impulse is among our favorite MIDI keyboards. And such opinion is not correct to us. Many musicians regard the impulse as one of the best MIDI controller available in the market today.

Since is it a creation of Novation Music, you will just get mesmerized to the quality of its build and performance.

Despite the availability of multiple features (such as drum pads) and other functions, the price of Novation Impulse is still half lower than its competitors.

It is quite surprising considering that the caliber of its build is identical to other high-end brands. From the quality of the keys down up to sound clarity, this pedal is simply outstanding!

This particular keyboard is available on the following key counts: 25-key, 49-key, and 61-key.


Pros:

  • Semi-weighted keys are very responsive.
  • Keys have aftertouch mechanism.
  • Availability of options (9 buttons, 9 faders, and 8 knobs).
  • Comes with an Automapping software so that you can easily control the MIDI.
  • It also have sustain and expression pedal inputs as well.

Cons:

  • It doesn't come with a software bundle.
  • The response keyboard is somehow similar to synth action.
M-Audio Keystation 32 Key

Via: Amazon.com

For those that are tight on budget, the M-Audio Keystation 32 is the perfect option. Just by looking at it, this MIDI keyboard is plain and straightforward. It doesn't have those extra controls and pads.

Of course, advanced practitioners might not like it. But for amateurs and starters, this controller is a good choice.

The quality of its keys is excellent, despite being a synth-action keyboard. It has a nice reaction and sensitivity when you press it, which we like.

It also got an orchestra theme VST, which is in the form of the "Eighty-Eight Ensemble" of SONiVOX. Installing this software is relatively easy, so you don't worry about anything.

Most of the basic controls, such as faders and knobs, are present in M-Audio Keystation 32. If you are looking for a straightforward setup, this keyboard is the right one for you.


Pros:

  • Synth-action are full-size.
  • Keys are velocity-sensitive.
  • Comes with mod wheels and pitch bend.
  • It has a sustain pedal input.
  • The controls are intuitive and ergonomic.

Cons:

  • Not an ideal choice for experimenting and professionals artists.
  • The springs in the key are relatively stiff.
Novation Launchkey 49

Via: Amazon.com

Novation Launchkey is a good alternative to Impulse. Although it is not as good as its cousin, its performance is indeed impressive. The first thing that you should know is that the Launchkey is cheaper compared to Impulse.

Of course, this means that its features are lesser, too, compared to its counterpart. But we are not saying that it is a crappy MIDI keyboard controller.

In fact, we can say that the Launchkey is way better than the majority of MIDI controllers nowadays. It comes with drum pads and possesses assignable buttons and faders.

It also got mod and pitch bend wheels as well. When it comes to stability and build, we can't say anything bad about the Launchkey. After all, it is a Novation product!

Software like the Bass Station VST and Novation V-Station are all available in this bundle. You can also access some parts of the device via the Novation apps on Apple products.


Pros:

  • 16 trigger pads are velocity-sensitive.
  • It got the InControl technology so that you can configure various DAW mapping.
  • Synth-action keys are ultra responsive.
  • Faders and buttons are assignable.
  • Comes with transport controls.

Cons:

  • Too much velocity-sensitivity.
  • Involves a lot of tweaking before you can operate it fully.
M Audio Oxygen 49 IV

Via: Amazon.com

Another M-Audio Oxygen 49 MKIV product that we have given our due respects it the Oxygen. The reason for such is simple: this MIDI keyboard controller is budget-friendly but highly functional.

Given its price range, it is quite surprising that it has pads, encoders, and other forms of controls.

They quality of the keys of M-Audio Oxygen 49 MKIV is impressive, too. Specifically, it has a full-sized, synth-action keys. Moreover, the keys are pretty sensitive, too.

Meanwhile, it has high compatibility with any DAW. Getting this product will also entitle you to free SONiVOX and Ableton Live Lite software.

Investing on this MIDI keyboard controller is never a regrettable choice. It has the essential features that you need at a price that won't hurt your budget!


Pros:

  • Keys are velocity-sensitive.
  • Comes with transport controls.
  • It has 9 faders and 8 knobs (all assignable).
  • It has mapping compatibility with many DAWs.
  • Trigger pads are velocity sensitive, too.

Cons:

  • You cannot remap the drum pads.
  • Difficult to configure if you are using ProTools.

Best MIDI Keyboard Controller Buying Guide

Best MIDI Keyboard Controllers

Before you choose a keyboard controller, it is essential that you know the primary considerations for this type of digital instrument. As you can see, there are a lot of choices for MIDI keyboards.

The price range could start from $100 up to $600 or more. In short, it is not a cheap investment. Therefore, you must be careful when you are scouting which one to get.

Cost

Usually, those MIDI keyboards that have extra keys are expensive. Moreover, those that have extra packages (such as software and downloadable contents) may charge you more compared to those that have none.

But of course, it doesn't mean that they are your best choice on the go. It will depend on your skills and needs.

Number of Keys

There are a lot of options when it comes to this aspect. An example of that would be the 25, 32, 37, and 49. These type of keyboard controllers are usually referred as mini-compact.

They are inexpensive, but at the same time, their functions are limited. Meanwhile, the most popular ones are the 61-key MIDI keyboard controllers. Many intermediate players nowadays are now using this kind of keyboard.

If you want a professional-grade setup, then you should go for the 88-key MIDI keyboards.

The latter is already equivalent to a standard piano. If usability and number of applications are the cut, then the 88-key setup is the best. But if you want a portable one, then go for mini-compact controllers.

Type of Key Make

MIDI Keyboard Controllers

Aside from the number of keys, it is pretty important for you to decide what kind of mechanism do you want for the keys.

Specifically, the are three types of key-make that are available in the market today: semi-weighted, full-weighted, and synth-action. In this aspect, your preference is the major deciding point.

  • Synth-action - Many of the MIDI controllers nowadays are using the "synth action" mechanism on their keys. These keys are made of plastic. Moreover, they use springs rather than weights for the retracting motion of the keys.The general "feel" for synth action keys are light and quick. You can use them on multiple applications since it can be ideal on any genre.
  • Semi-weighted - Semi-weighted keys are not using plastic and spring. Yes, it is true that it is using a spring-loaded mechanism for the retraction. But there are actual light weights that are placed in the center of the key. You can immediately tell the difference the semi-weighted key to a synth action key just by a single press.
  • Full-weighted - Of course, it is important for many musicians to get the "feel" of a real piano. Therefore, even with digital MIDI keyboards, fully weighted keys still hold absolute importance. Let us be straight. Digital pianos with fully-weighted keys do not offer the exact sensation that standard keyboards have. But they are close. Close.

Moreover, finding MIDI digital keyboards that have weighted keys is quite difficult. If you can find them, there is a high chance that they are expensive.

"Aftertouch" is another important aspect for digital keys. Obliviously, such kind of technology is not available to all MIDI controllers.

Specifically, it is a data emitted when you apply pressure to the keys. It is commonly used to control the volume, vibrato, and other configurations of the keyboard.

The most common type of aftertouch is the Channel. When you hold a key, the keyboard would only detect the aftertouch with the highest value.

There is also Polyphonic aftertouch, which is the exact opposite of the Channel. But the former is quite expensive and rare.

Portability

Size is a matter that you need to contemplate when it comes to MIDI keyboards. Are you always traveling? Or you just remain in your studio or room when creating music? These are the questions that only you can answer.

As we mentioned, mini-compact MIDI keyboards are best for musicians that are always on the go. Meanwhile, 61-key and 88-key keyboards are ideal for those who doesn't mind portability at all.

MIDI Pads

MIDI keyboards nowadays usually come with drum pads. These extra accessories are not solely for the purpose of creating drum sounds.

You can also designate different sound to them. Usually, drum pads have an 8 to 16 count range. Moreover, they have 3 to 4 banks as well. Integrating pads to your MIDI keyboards will enhance your versatility. But it doesn't mean that they are necessary.

Extra Functions

Of course, a product that has additional features will tend to cost more. But at some point, they can provide value to your money.

For example, MIDI keyboards that have arpeggiators, buttons, faders, and pitch bend wheels can drastically improve your performance.

As we emphasized earlier, these are just additional components. They are not essential but it doesn't you won't benefit from them. You just have to weigh your skills and budget on this.

Now that we got all these important aspects covered let us review the MIDI controllers that we listed in this article. Each of them has unique features that will guarantee you satisfaction and relentless performance.

You just have to sift through each of them so that you can determine will work best for you.

Final Verdict

These are the best MIDI keyboard controllers that you can see in the market today. Each of them has excellent build and functionality. Although they have different features, it is undeniable that they are perfect for any applications.

Akai Professional MPK249

Among the products we featured, we hail the Akai Professional MPK249 as the best MIDI keyboard. From the controls, interface, up to functionality, the Akai MPK249 exhibits excellence and stability.

It has the most responsive key beds that we have reviewed. It is a great item that will never give your money a run.

However, we still recommend that you try the rest of the controllers here. Who knows? One of them might benefit you more than the MPK249 can do?

Did we miss something in this list? Are there other MIDI keyboard controllers that are worth mentioning here? Tell us all of your thoughts in the comment section below!


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Alesis Coda Pro Review – Best Digital Piano

Are you looking for an entry-grade piano? Then you should take a look at this unit from the brand Alesis! Get to know more about this piano by reading this Alesis Coda Pro review!

The battle for piano supremacy never ends. As long as enthusiasts continue to hunt for the best option out there, manufacturers will never stop producing pianos, too.

After all, that's the case of the brand Alesis. Specifically, one of their latest units, the Alesis Coda Pro, might be the piano that your fingers are itching to play.

About Alesis Coda Pro

Alesis Coda Pro

Alesis has been in the piano industry for many years already. Some of you might haven't heard this brand already, but they among the top producers of digital keyboards today.

Of course, it is undeniable that their recent release (the Cadenza series) on 2011 was a failure. But with the Alesis Coda Pro, things are starting to get good for them.

The Alesis Coda Pro was officially introduced at National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) on 2015. It was released together with the Alesis Coda.

Apparently, these keyboards are ideal for amateurs to intermediate keyboard players. Keith Barr was the one who designed the Alesis Coda keyboards. Therefore, you can expect a lot from these.

Specifically, the Alesis Coda Pro is highly portable and affordable. Therefore, picking this one is something that wouldn't be disadvantageous on your part.

Moreover, the sound quality and overall performance of this piano are truly superb, too. Nothing is regrettable about this piano, indeed!

In this article, we will give you a thorough examination about the Alesis Coda Pro. In here, you will discover why choosing this digital keyboard is a form of investment. So what are you waiting for? Read on!

Alesis Coda Pro Review

Alesis Coda Pro Review

As we stated earlier, the Alesis Coda Series presents two models of digital keyboards. They are the standard Alesis Coda and the Alesis Coda Pro. Obviously, each of these pianos has different prices.

Although the difference in their value is not that great, we deem that choosing the Alesis Coda Pro is a much wiser choice.

At first, you might think that these pianos have the same design. Of course, it is easy to assume such considering that they are both using 88 keys. However, the Alesis Coda Pro is a full weight digital piano.

Its cousin is just semi-weighted. As a result, you can't get that satisfying feeling in your fingers if you will choose the Alesis Coda.

We all know that keys with weighted action better performance and control to the keyboard.

Therefore, it is quite safe to say that the Alesis Coda Pro is the ideal pick for piano learners and teachers as well. Even live performing players will find great benefit from using this digital piano.

Contents Of Alesis Coda Pro

Here are the things that you can get straight from the box of Alesis Coda Pro:

  • Music stand
  • User's manual
  • Warranty manual

The manufacturer also sells an additional accessory for the Coda Pro Series keyboards.

You can opt to purchase the specially designed piano stand for these keyboards. With this component, you will be able to convert the Coda Pro into an upright piano.

If you got extra bucks to spare, getting the keyboard stand is advisable. Aside from its sleek wooden furnish, the stand also possesses functionality.

Specifically, it comes with three pedals (sustain, soft, and sostenuto) for enhanced versatility in your playstyle. You can also connect the stand to the digital piano by only using a single wire.

Key Features Of Alesis Coda Pro

The perks that you can get from Alesis Coda Pro is quite mesmerizing. Considering that this keyboard is just an entry-price choice, the features it has is seemingly too much.

It is getting more than what you have paid for. Well, you should not label this as a marketing pitch. In this article, we listed the jaw-dropping features of Alesis Coda Pro so that we can prove to you that we are not bluffing.

Here are the full features of Alesis Coda Pro:

  • It can cover the full sound range of the piano, thanks to its 88-key setup.
  • This piano has twenty default voices. Moreover, you can layer or split these voices at the same time.
  • The Alesis Coda Pro has sixty built-in songs. It also allows you to record songs on your own with the use of its "User Record" function.
  • It comes with a "Duet" function. This mode has fifty patterns of accompaniment.
  • Alesis Coda Pro possesses exclusive sounds that were made by the industry's best virtual developers (the SONiVOX and AIR).
  • The keyboard has a "Lesson" Mode which enables you to divide the piano into two sections. But despite the division, each of the areas has still the same voice and pitch.
  • You can fully configure the EQ, Chorus, and Reverb effects.
  • Alesis Coda is using a full transpose control and metronome.
  • We should not forget that it got a sustain pedal, too.
  • It got different outputs as well, such as the auxiliary headphone sockets. This keyboard also has tan stereo auxiliary input that you can use if you want to play with an external instrument.
  • Meanwhile, the keys are using an authentic hammer action. Therefore, your experience in playing this piano will always remain genuine.

With all of these given features, who doesn't want to grab the Coda Pro? It is like missing the biggest opportunity to get an excellent piano for an affordable price! You can quickly improve your skills if you choose the Coda Pro as your playing partner!

Technical Requirements

Fortunately, you don't need to become a piano aficionado just to operate the Alesis Coda Pro. Unlike any other digital pianos, the Coda Pro does not require any computer-related setup.

But you can digitally transfer your recordings and songs to computer devices by the use of a USB cord. Specifically, this keyboard is compatible with Windows 7 to 8 computers and MAC OS X 10.7 to 10.10 computers.

Performance Of Alesis Coda Pro

Portability and Ergonomic Aesthetics

Apparently, the Alesis learned its lessons from their previous failure, the Cadenza series. As a result, most of the upgrades of the Coda Series came from the shortcomings of their previous product.

The first noticeable improvement of the Coda Pro piano is its aesthetics. It is evident that Alesis abandoned the traditional looks of keyboards. Instead, they embraced the modern design, which is a plus point for many users.

Specifically, the piano comes with two speakers on its chassis. Meanwhile, the Coda Pro has a major facelift improvement, with all the layout and interface being placed correctly.

The hardware of Coda Pro is pretty impressive, too. With the mixture of matte and lucid finishes on its chassis, the Coda Pro became more elegant and appealing compared to its predecessors.

Moreover, we like the portability of the Alesis Coda Pro. Although it is true that it is not as compact because of its 88-key scheme, this keyboard is still lightweight.

In this Alesis Coda Pro review, we compared this piano with other digital pianos such as Yamaha DGX-660 and William Legato. And among them, Coda Pro is the lightest. Specifically, it has only a weight of 27.6 pounds.

The interface of the Alesis Coda Pro offers you a myriad of controls. Such of these are its LED display and 16-control buttons for MIDI, Patterns, Metronome, and other modes.

There is also additional ten buttons that you can use to play with its built-in voices. Moreover, you can explore other control options by the use of its "Shift" button.

There is a pitch wheel on the left of the keyboard that you can use to lower or raise the notes of the keyboard.

On the opposite side, the USB port, Sustain jack, MIDI out, and power jack is present. Meanwhile, the headphone outputs are placed in the front portion of the piano.

Sound Output

Alesis Coda Pro Review

People won't forget how awful the sounding of the Cadenza grand piano is. It was one of the biggest regrets of the Alesis. That's the reason why this company focused on improving the sound quality of the Coda Series.

In fact, they tapped AIR and SONiVOX to help them in amplifying the sound of their latest keyboards.

If you lurk in the market today, you can notice that the Coda Pro is now among the best entry-grade digital pianos.

They are even at the same level as the Yamaha P-45, which is pretty remarkable already. Specifically, the mid and lower notes of the Coda Pro are exquisite!

Meanwhile, we can notice that the tone of this digital keyboard is warm, rich, and organic. Apparently, it is due to the 64-note polyphony technology that the keyboard has.

This particular innovation enables you to sustain various notes while the "Split/ Layer" mode is active.

The sound versatility of the Alesis Coda Pro is something that you have to look out for. The availability of 20 different presents will allow you to maximize your playing style. The built-in sounds include Vibraphone, Clavinet, and Harpsichord voices.

Moreover, it also got different tones of Grand Piano and Electric Piano as well. Of course, it won't be complete if the organ, harmonica, and accordion sounds are not there!

As we highlighted earlier, this piano can layer or split two tones simultaneously. Moreover, it can do the same functions at one. Moreover, you should not worry about the sound, thanks to its polyphony.

Because of this capability, the Coda Pro can produce a vast array of rich tones. We can even say that the versatility of this piano is better than its counterparts in Yamaha.

Also, the integration of DSP allowed the Alesis Coda Pro to become an excellent piano of choice.

Of course, we should not forget to emphasize the weighted hammer action of this instrument. It is among the biggest improvements that Alesis did for their pianos.

We all know how horrible the key bed of the previous Cadenza. Nobody wants to remember that thing anymore.

Honestly, you can still hear "tapping" noises, but it is not that audible. In short, this keyboard already the standards of the industry.

Minor Issues on Alesis Coda Pro

  • The Alesis Coda Pro is a must-get digital keyboard. There is no doubt about it. When it comes to sound and performance, this piano is a fascinating choice. But we will never deny that it the choice for professional players.
  • If you are looking for high-end pianos that offer better control and sounding, then you should scratch Coda Pro from your list. Other than that, this keyboard is great on its own.

Final Verdict

The Coda Pro keyboard is the redeeming opus of the brand Alesis. As we mentioned earlier, this keyboard has authentic sounding and outstanding aesthetics, too.

It is easy to use and can be used in various applications, thanks to its portability. It is not the best entry-price piano out there, but it is a good match for prominent piano brands.

If you are torn between Coda and Coda Pro, just remember always to account your preference. Aside from learning, the main reason you play the piano is to have fun.

But if you are planning to become a professional player, we recommend that you should start with the Coda Pro. This option will introduce you to the basics of using the keyboard. Eventually, you will realize that you made the right choice.

You can opt for other piano brands as well. We want to emphasize that the Alesis Coda Pro is just an option. But among the choices that you have, this digital keyboard should be on your top list.

Did you learn from this Alesis Coda Piano review? If yes, then share your love to us by sharing this article to your social media accounts!

What are your thoughts about this piano? Tell us your comments and questions in the box down below!


Related Buyer’s guides and Beasts Lists:

Yamaha DGX 660 Review: Best Digital Piano In 2021

Digital pianos were designed to meet the different needs of various musicians. If you’re looking for portability and functionality, then a digital piano might be the best for you. This is due to the convenient size and weight that its frame has.

Furthermore, owning a digital piano can be a relief for the wallet too. It costs cheaper than an authentic grand piano. Also, it also performs similarly to a grand piano. Therefore, your sound quality isn’t sacrificed for convenience.

However, not all digital pianos have great features. Some may leave you dissatisfied because of its sound. Moreover, other products may not be suitable for your tastes regarding the options it gives you.

As we the Yamaha DGX 660 review, you’ll get to see the different functions that a leading brand like Yamaha offers on the table. Of course, the DGX 600 has its flaws, so that will also give you ideas on what to avoid or not.

Basically, as we review one product, you’ll have a great model to compare to other products that might interest you. We’ve also listed three alternative pianos to help you in your search.



Yamaha DGX 660 Review

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The Yamaha DGX-660 Digital Piano has 88 keys with graded hammer action. The hammer action makes the feel of Yamaha DGX’s keys similarly close to that of a real piano.

This is because the keys have more resistance in the low end making them heavier to touch while the keys in the high end have less resistance making them lighter to the touch.

This concept in particular directly replicates what happens to the hammers inside of a real piano as you play.

Another key feature which is unique to the DGX-660 would be its Piano Room feature. This particular feature enables you to choose from a variety of pianos and acoustic settings. You can also connect the DGX-660 to a microphone.

This allows you to sing as you play and hear your voice with digital effects through the built-in speakers of this digital piano. Finally, this instrument can be connected to a USB device so you can share your performance with other people.

If you want to know more about other factors you should look into when buying a digital piano, check this video.


Pros:

  • You can split and layer any two voices or sounds with the “Dual” on/off button.
  • You can experiment with the tons of possibilities of this digital piano with the Piano room feature.
  • The bundle does not only include the digital piano itself.

Cons:

  • The piano stand that comes along with it might not be of the best quality.
  • You might need to buy an RCA jack to mini jack adapter to use the play through headphones option.

Features And Benefits of Piano Yamaha DGX 660

1. Sound Engine and Keys


The DGX 660 comes with a pure CF sound engine. This engine is designed to imitate an acoustic piano to produce the best sounds for your digital piano. Specifically, the DGX 660’s sound is modeled to be similar to that of Yamaha’s CFIIIS concert grand piano.

Combined with its high-end sound engine, Yamaha also incorporates the graded hammer standard (GHS) to its keyboard. This feature gives you the option to play different tones in one key.

The keys are designed to produce different sounds depending on how you press them. If you press the key strongly on the low-end, it has a different sound compared to pushing it on the high-end.

All of these are features of an acoustic piano that the DGX 660 accurately copies. Consider the sound engine and the graded standard hammer as the core features of a DGX 660.

2. Interface


Another great feature from the DGX 660 is the score display. This feature is more on the interface rather than the fundamentals. The score display is an interactive screen that shows the music notation of your songs.

With this feature, you can quickly follow the bouncing ball on the screen to guide you when playing your song.

Another feature is the Piano room. This is a great feature that allows you to choose different keyboards and acoustic settings. This results in creating an ideal environment for you.

Lastly, this digital piano is app-friendly. Hence, it can integrate well with other devices and mobile apps.

You can use several iOS apps and connect it to your DGX 660. Among these apps are song sheets, audio recorders, calibration, and much more.

3. Technicalities and Hardware

Yamaha DGX 660

The Yamaha DGX 660 has excellent tonal range. This is thanks to the built-in hardware that it boasts. Particularly, it has two 12-cm speakers to go along with an extra pair of smaller ones. These are also accompanied by two 6W amplifiers for excellent resonance.

Regarding voices, this digital piano has 150 in total. Ideal for musicians who always want an extra touch of music to their performance. Sound effects and drum kits are also included in this piano.

12 voices and 6 reverbs are new for the DGX 660. So if you’re a fan of these features, you’ll be interested in checking the growing variety of effects to choose from.

4. Going Further


For more features, the Yamaha DGX 660 has a 192-polyphony attribute. This gives your digital piano that capability to play a wider range of songs. This also means you will be able to hear ALL these different notes that you’re playing, at once.

It’s important to note that some products have 100 and below polyphony notes. Thus, the DGX 660 is on the better end of this feature.

If you’re all about the rhythm of your piano, the DGX 660 has a unique feature for you. It has the Style Recommender that allows you to play a musical style while adding a backup band to your chords.

Lastly, this product is also perfect for beginners. The Yamaha Education Suite or Y.E.S gives you a broad range of help. From tracking, timing, and tempo, it helps improve your overall playstyle.

The Smart Chord and Easy Chord go with the Y.E.S feature too. These are necessary accompaniments that can be accessed with just a touch of a button.

The Smart Chord is designed to follow your every move, while the EZ chord tracks the changes made to your song.

Furthermore, the Intelligent Acoustic Control is another beneficial characteristic of the DGX 660. This automatically adjusts the settings for a balanced sound from your piano.

For further information about the new features of the Yamaha DGX-660, here’s a video Yamaha DGX 660 review for you to watch.

5. Social Proof

Yamaha DGX 660

Most of the feedbacks you will see online would say that the Yamaha DGX-660 is good in general. It’s new Piano Room feature has garnered lots of attention and appreciation. This is most especially among those who bought this digital piano as a gift for their children.

Its graded hammer action and weighted key features were also mentioned often. Comparing it to other models and brands of its price range, DGX-660’s keys prove to be very similar to that of a piano’s. This was most especially appreciated by non-beginners.

Beginners trying to learn the piano in a more creative and fun way mentioned that this particular model allowed them to experiment with the music they play. Complaints were very minimal and were a minority.

An example would be the piano stand that came along with the bundle, or the choice of sustain pedal which also comes along with this bundle as a set.

To sum it up, the Yamaha DGX-660 is suitable for both beginners and professionals. It’s a very versatile model whose new features enable you to experiment with the music you play. Its price is also very reasonable especially when you look at all the freebies coming along with the bundle.

Things You Should Consider Before Buying A Digital Piano

Before buying, be sure that you’re aware of the important factors that make a high-quality digital piano. There are obvious ones to look at such as the sound quality, but there are overlooked areas as well.

Here, we will help you by covering all the major details that should help you make a checklist of what to look at.

Keyboard and Sound

First, let’s start with the most important area of any piano, the keys.

When checking the keyboard, you want to test two things: the touch and the sound. Monitoring the quality of these two is the first step in finding the best piano for you.

Since digital pianos were made to imitate an acoustic piano, you should check for similarities that it has. Usually, a digital piano is harder to play. This is because the keys are heavier and have a little twist to it.

This twist is the versatility to produce different sounds in just one key. Thus, having weighted keys for your piano is improves your playing. Now, you’ll have the option to press lighter or harder. This lets you generate the right tone you’re looking for.

For the sound, you should avoid choosing pianos that are too electronic when you do a hearing test. You can double check this by listening to a lot of acoustic pianos online or in person. Simply put, you want a tone that is richer and deeper. Bad-sounding keyboards usually sound flat and lifeless.

Portability and Price

“If you’re so meticulous about the sound, why not just buy a real piano?” some might say. Well, if there’s one common thing between you and other buyers, it’s the cost and size.

Not everyone has the luxury to buy a grand piano. Likewise, some people have constraints at home when it comes to space. Whether you’re a skilled musician or a beginner, a digital piano helps you in more ways than one.

Having a lightweight piano that comes at an affordable price is the best option for many. There’s a lot of truth to it since it’s easily sold online. With that said, make sure that the price corresponds well with the capability of the piano.

Usually, a great bargain for digital pianos is right below the $500 mark. When it comes to convenience, check how big the keyboard is. Having a stand and bench bundled with the digital piano is a great option to pick.

The Others

Last but not the least, a digital piano has a lot of different extras that help boost your performance. Usually, these are overlooked because buyers lack awareness. It’s important for you to understand how these can be beneficial to you.

An example of this are the instruments that come with your digital piano. These are effects that enhance your playing. For example, a drum instrument feature can be present to give the sound another dimension.

Alternatives To Consider Digital Piano

Casio PX350 BK

The Privia PX350 has a unique Acoustic Intelligent Resonation System (AiR). This innovation by Casio allows this product to imitate an acoustic piano accurately. Furthermore, it has Tri-sensor hammer action keyboard.

This keyboard lets you play all the four dynamics of the piano. This measures the speed and velocity at which you hit the keys. Hence, it accurately produces the sound of an acoustic piano.

The Casio PX350 also comes with a damper resonance feature. This provides richer sound from the strings whenever the sustain pedal is used.

Casio PX350 Review

  • 250 built-in tones
  • Acoustic Intelligent Resonation System
  • Tri-sensor hammer action keyboard
  • 128-note polyphony
  • 88 keys

Yamaha DGX 660 Review

  • 150 built-in voices
  • Pure CF sound engine
  • 192-note polyphony
  • 88 keys
  • Graded Hammer System

Williams Allegro 2

The Williams Allegro 2 is a full-sized digital piano with semi-weighted keys. These keys also have a hammer-action which makes it closer to a real piano.

One of the significant aspects in the Williams Allegro is the versatility you get with the sound. It offers outstanding reverbs that adds multiple effects to your performance.

You can also use Modulation/FX control for selected instruments. This gives it rotary and vibrato effects that a typical digital piano wouldn’t have.

The LCD also makes this keyboard easy to use. Similar to the Alesis Recital, it boasts a split and layered mode that helps ease your playing.


Williams Allegro 2 Review

  • 64-note polyphony
  • Hammer-action keyboard with weighted keys
  • Comes with a variety of reverbs
  • Split and layered modes
  • LCD interface
  • Modulation and FX control

Yamaha DGX 660 Review

  • Graded Hammer Standard keyboard
  • 150 built-in voices
  • 192-note polyphony
  • App integration system
  • CF sound engine
  • Score Display

Alesis Recital 88-Key Beginner

The Alesis Recital comes with 88 semi-weighted keys with powerful built-in speakers at 20W. It’s one of the best choices online for beginners because of its ease and functionality.

It has powerful educational features, notably the “Lesson Mode.” This helps the mentor and student to watch each other and play together easily. This eliminates the problem of switching turns in the piano every time.

The Alesis Recital also lets you combine two voices using Layer mode. This creates a richer and more distinct tone for your music.

Along with this, you also have the Split mode. This mode assigns a particular function for your left and right hand.


Alesis Recital Review

  • 5 built-in voices with Layer mode and Split mode
  • 20W built-in speakers
  • Lesson Mode
  • Semi-weighted keys
  • 128-note polyphony
  • Adjustable touch-response keys

Yamaha DGX 660 Review

  • 150 built-in voices
  • 6W built-in speakers
  • 192-note polyphony
  • Graded Hammer Action
  • Score Display
  • Y.E.S feature

The Verdict

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to buying a digital piano. At the end of the day, it boils down to a matter of preference and what you’re looking for.

There are many high-quality products out there. The Yamaha DGX 660 review along with the other three alternatives mentioned are all great products to buy.

It can be easily seen from the review that the DGX 660 is straight to the point. It doesn’t offer many functions compared to the other products, but it has the basics of a digital piano that can make it competitive against an acoustic.

Ultimately, the CF sound engine and Graded Hammer System should peak your interest if you’re looking for great sound and keyboard functionality. There aren’t many brands like Yamaha that produces pianos with great detail internally.

It also boasts one of the highest polyphony notes among its competitors at a near 192. It’s not only great in sound, but it’s versatile too.

Add in the app-integration interface with the educational functions; then it pretty much covers a lot of ground. It’s perfect for a musician who values the quality of tone and the functionality of the piano.