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The Best Keyboard Workstations - Budget & Professional

Keyboard Workstations

Keyboard workstations are versatile electronic instruments that integrate a keyboard with a sound module and sequencers. They are pretty much a "studio in a box" since they let you play and record ideas right away, practical and convenient for those who perform or create original music. Also, they tend to have high quality synth sounds, more effects, and other music production features such as advanced patch editing and mixing. Whether you’re a producer, composer, film scorer or a “one-man band” performer, this guide has a list of workstations that will fit your needs.

Contents

The Best Keyboard Workstations

The Best Keyboard Workstations Under $1000

Korg Kross 2

85
GEARANK

85 out of 100. Incorporating 30+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$750
Korg Kross 2 61-key Synthesizer Workstation

The Korg Kross is a compact synthesizer workstation that is a follow up to the original Kross model. It features a newly added expanded PCM memory and a pad sampler that allows full-fledged sampling, and USB audio/MIDI interface functionality. This lightweight unit also has the ability to run for seven hours on six AA batteries, which makes it more convenient and portable enough to bring around.

Specifications:

  • Keys: 61 velocity sensitive keys
  • Polyphony: 120
  • Sound Engine(s): EDS-i
  • Controllers: Pitchbend, Mod wheel
  • Effects:
  • 134 types (74 x Insert effects, 101 x Master effect 1, 120 x Master effect 2)

  • Audio Recording: PCM audio format 48kHz/16bit, WAV
  • Audio Playback: Directly play back data from SD card
  • Sequencer: 16MIDI Tracks, 128 songs,16 preset/16 user template songs
  • Audio Inputs: 1 x 1/4" Line-in, 1 x 1/8" Line-in
  • Audio Outputs: 2 x 1/4" Line-out, 1 x 1/8" Stereo mini phone jack
  • MIDI: In/Out
  • Other Connections:1 x 1/4" Damper, 1 x 1/4" Assignable switch, 1 x 1/4" Assignable pedal
  • USB: USB connector 1x TYPE B
  • Power Supply: AC adaptor power supply DC 9V, 6 x AA alkaline batteries or 6 x or nickel-metal hydride batteries
  • Dimensions: 36.81" × 10.59" × 3.46"
  • Weight: 8.38 lbs

Compact and light-weight were some of the traits mentioned when it comes to first impressions. Users were more than satisfied when they found out it can run on batteries alone. Its interface is quite versatile and user-friendly since the saved presets are easily accessible and there are so many options to choose from. From synth patches, leads and percussion, this workstation provides organic and authentic sounding patches.

There were some reports of the keybed having a mediocre feel. This is not really an issue if you use it mainly for composition purposes rather than performing.

This is an affordable entry-level workstation if you're on a budget.

Casio Privia PX-360

87
GEARANK

87 out of 100. Incorporating 10+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$900
Casio Privia PX-360 Digital Piano and Workstation

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

Even with hammer weighted keys, this keyboard workstation is quite portable and light enough to carry around since it has a plastic construction. Even though it has a plastic construction, it's quite durable and there were no reports of damages while in transit. Several pianists found the keys 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.

One user mentioned that the jacks were a bit flimsy since they are made out of plastic, though using velcro or tape as compensation can support the cables from not falling off the output.

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

The Best Keyboard Workstations Between $1000 and $2000

Yamaha MOXF6

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 125+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1200
Yamaha MOXF6 61-key Synthesizer Workstation

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 great for recording precise phrases or passages.

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.

The general feedback is mostly positive when it comes to its sound quality. 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 were more than satisfied with its responsive keyboard, flexible sequencer that has multiple functions such as adjusting velocities, and it's expandable memory feature that allows them to customize and add their own sounds.

One of the main issues several reviewers found was its user interface. They mentioned that it takes a while to figure out the controls, although editing parameters are easy once they start to familiarize with them.

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

Yamaha MOXF8

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1700
Yamaha MOXF8 88-key Synthesizer Workstation

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's ideal for live performances.

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.

Professional musicians enjoyed using this workstation since it has a wide variety of real sounding presets and useful features. The settings of each voice can be edited and customized while its step sequencer was well-thought out. Many of them were impressed with Its built in effects, especially its reverb. In his Keyboardmag review, Eric Lawson found its computer connectivity capabilities very useful where it was able to "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, it was very responsive and had a realistic weight. Even with hammered action keys, it's reasonably light-weight, compact and travel friendly.

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

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

Roland FA-08

87
GEARANK

87 out of 100. Incorporating 90+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1800
Roland FA-08 88-key Keyboard Workstation

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 for 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.

Many users found this workstation to be very versatile, especially for stage use. The menu system and controls were laid out intuitively that made it easy to figure out for users. In addition to that, its sequencer is very easy to use and the sampler was proven useful whenever users plan to record onto the pads with ease. They keys have great response and feel since they are weighted. Regarding sound quality, it provided realistic piano sounds, as well as exceptional organ and synth sounds.

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

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

The Best Keyboard Workstations Between $2000 and $5000

Kurzweil PC3K6

84
GEARANK

84 out of 100. Incorporating 10+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$2395
Kurzweil PC3K6 61-key Synthesizer Workstation

The PC3K6 comes with Kurzweil's Dynamic V.A.S.T. synthesis engine, that contains extensive libraries of existing K Series samples. Aside from that, it is also flexible when it comes to loading compatible sound files since it's capable of loading .KRZ/25/26 sample files, WAVE and AIFF files. Kurzweil has included USB Host and Device ports for saving user programs, setups and songs to a USB thumb-drive or directly to a computer, as well as 128 MB worth of sample memory for users to store their samples even after the unit is turned off.

Specifications:

  • Keys: 61 velocity and aftertouch sensitive keys
  • Polyphony:128
  • Sound Engine(s): Dynamic VAST, VA1
  • Controllers: Pitch wheel, modulation wheel, 9 x front panel sliders/drawbar controllers, 10 x front panel switches (momentary or toggle, software selectable), 3 x switch pedal input, 2 x continuous control pedal inputs, mono pressure, Super Ribbon input, breath controller input.
  • Effects: 16 x insert effects distributed over 11 busses, 2 x auxiliary sends, 2 x Master Effects (Over 500 effects: reverbs, delays, chorus, flange, phaser, EQs, distortions, Leslie simulators, compressors)
  • Audio Recording:Not Specified
  • Audio Playback:Not Specified
  • Sequencer: Unlimited tracks (on import)
  • Audio Inputs: Not Specified
  • Audio Outputs: 4 x 1/4" Line-in. 1 x 1/8" Line-in (Headphones)
  • MIDI: In/Out/Thru
  • Other Connections: 3 x Switch Pedals, 2 x CC Pedals, 1 x Super Ribbon Pedal, 1 x Breath Pedal Input
  • USB: MIDI over USB
  • Power Supply:AC power supply 120/240V
  • Dimensions: 39.37" x 4.84" x 13.98"
  • Weight: 30.86 lbs.

This workstation exceeded reviewers' expectations, especially when it comes to its sound engines and functionality. Many of them mentioned its on-board effects engine and virtual analog engine provide exceptional quality sounds. Additionally, presets such as electric pianos and orchestral sound quite authentic. Aside from that, it's sequencing capabilities are also quite intuitive and it had flexible layering and splitting functions. Regarding its construction, it is overall very sturdy and quite durable.

Some reviewers mentioned that the size of the screen display needs more improvement. Additionally, the hammond organ sounds fair enough but not so realistic, which isn't a problem if you opt out of using hammond organ presets.

This is a great choice if you are looking for a workstation with excellent analog modelling capabilities.

Korg Kronos 61-Key

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 50+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$3100

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 provides 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.

Many keyboardists reported having an overall great experience using this workstation. The touchscreen is quite straightforward when selecting sounds for each layer and initial combinations. Controls and parameters, such as ones for transposing and effects, are also easily accessible via the touchscreen. In terms of sound quality, its pianos, organ, synth, and pads are top notch and have a much richer sound. Several experienced keyboard players were able to design their own sounds with the use of its multiple sound engines. They also were more than satisfied that it allows them to install third party libraries when they needed to expand their collection.

There were a few musicians who found the sequencer doesn't allow custom patterns, which is more of a preference and not really an issue.

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

Korg Kronos 73-Key

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 30+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$3500

The Korg Kronos 73-key version has similar specifications and features as the 61-key version only it has weighted hammer action keys.

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.

When it comes to first impressions, the keybed has a nice response that many keyboardists compared to playing a real piano. A lot of professional musicians were amazed with its sound engines showcasing a lot of variations. 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 was one of the features that stood out since it allowed them to directly access to a combination, program, or song in the sequencer to play next. Most of them also found its split, layering, velocity assignment and connectivity capabilities remarkable as well. Its manual also provides in depth combinations and access to parameters for more advance features.

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

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

Korg Kronos 88-key

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 50+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$3800
Korg Kronos 88-key Synthesizer Workstation

This version of the Korg Kronos has 88 weighted hammer action keys and has been used by music veterans Herbie Hancock, Bill Payne and Greg Phillinganes.

Specifications:

  • Keys: 88 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: 56.42” x 14.61” x 5.83”
  • Weight: 53.13 lbs.

Korg has never fallen short when it comes to producing units with high quality engineering, and the Kronos 88-key serves as proof. In his MusicRadar review, Dan Goldman mentioned its keybed with velocity and aftertouch "feels well balanced and gives a very authentic piano playing experience when paired with the EP-1 or SGX-2 engines, and the keybed feels much-improved over the last RH3 version we tested." Professional pianists also found the keys to have enough weight that it lets good technique shine while playing. They also praised its sound engines for providing quality sounds and opportunities to create different music styles. Aside from its capabilities of splitting, layering voices, and shifting octaves, its KARMA sound generator was also preferred to use over a standard arpeggiator.

Since it has a a lot of features, the number options and functions available can be quite overwhelming for some users. It may take a while to figure out its interface though most users were able to eventually enjoy using it with some effort.

This is an exceptional workstation for those who have a professional background in playing the piano.

Things to Consider when Buying a Keyboard Workstation

  • Differences between Workstation Keyboards and other Professional Keyboards

  • Workstations are type of keyboards that have the necessary tools useful for composers and performers. They are generally equipped with almost everything that can accommodate your production needs. There are several functions that set them apart from synthesizers, digital pianos, arrangers and other professional keyboards. They have MIDI 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, percussions, 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's applicable to individual tracks and 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 prioritise 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

  • 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. Connectivity is also another feature to consider since a lot of them come with USB or MIDI connections for connecting and syncing them to your computer. They also have audio inputs as well for directly recording instruments. These are some of the useful features that can maximize the use of your workstation.

Best Keyboard Workstation Selection Methodology

We began by looking at all the Workstations available from major American online music gear stores and put 13 of them on a short-list for further examination - you can see all 13 in our Music Gear Database. We then examined feedback from users and experts in the form of written reviews, 5 star ratings and forum discussions and fed those data to the Gearank Algorithm to produce the scores out of 100 that you see above - there were over 800 sources analyzed during this process..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.

Comments

Roland FA series. Should not

Roland FA series. Should not be here at all. they suck. Cheap! Cheap! Every Corner they could cut was done. And then some. The D/A A/D converters are so bad it is unbelievable!

Thanks for sharing your

Thanks for sharing your opinion. When we produced this guide we examined over 800 opinions, over 90 of those were specific to the Roland FA-08, and based on the broad opinion of the market it did deserve to be included in our recommended list.

If you'd like to know more about how we do this analysis, please read How Gearank Works.

Very useful information..

Very useful information...well explained, but why Yamaha s970 is not here?

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