“ Brand: Technics „
I should firstly let you know that I'm a competent keyboard / piano player, nothing special but I can play a few tunes and write some half-decent songs. I don't claim to be a master musician or a master songwriter, but I do love sitting down at the keyboard and messing about, working with sounds and arrangements and seeing if I can suddenly "stumble" into a new song (because that's really the best for it sometimes- you can be absently noodling and suddenly find you have an idea for a song- it just builds from there).
I have always loved playing the piano- from the age of five I always looked forward to going round my aunt's house to play the grand paino they had there- and many years ago, when I managed to save up enough I bought a (now horribly dated) Yamaha PSS-780. This is now gathering dust in the box room, a sad musuem piece with some broken keys. For the last few years I'vebeen itching to buy another, up to date keyboard and after much consultation and comparison, I took the plunge (and this was quite a plunge at nearly £800) and went for the Technics SX-KN2600.
If you're a bit of a keyboard geek like me then you'll appreciate this description. The instrument really is beautiful- silver, with black speakers and a pleasant blue display screen in the centre where you can carry out all the synthesizer and arrangement actions.
There are far too many functions in this instrument to describe adequately in this review- the manual itself is a good thick tome for a publication of its type- but I'll endeavour to go through the basics without getting so overly technical as to lose the reader.
Electronic keyboards all pretty much work the same way at the basic level. You can select various sounds (piano, violin, electric guitar, tuba, clarient, etc. etc.) and you can select various rhythms (hard rock, pop, techno etc.). There are some sounds that you're unlikely to ever need, and there are some rhythms which are also quite obscure.
The Technics SX-KN2600 provides you with the ability to completely change any of these sounds or rhythms and store them in memory. You can write songs note by note, record up to 16 tracks individually to make a multi-layered song, plug a microphone in and record vocals onto a song you've already composed, plug other compatible instruments in... the list of things you can do goes on and on.
One major benefit of this keyboard is that it's compatible wth SD-Card technology. It has a cute little silver slot which holds an SD-Card which you can use to copy song arrangements onto. For those who don't know, SD-Card technology allows you to use tiny wafer-like cards (SD cards) to transfer data of all kinds between unrelated devices. In my case, I transfer data from the keyboard to my computer.
Using the Audio Recorder software that came with the keyboard, I can also play songs live (loaded from the SD card which is sitting in its slot in the keyboard) and have them recorded by the PC at the same time as WAV (wave) files. I can then convert these to MP3s and therefore make them fully portable to all sorts of other devices, for example rip the MP3s to audio tracks so they play on the downstairs stereo and so on.
The keys on the Technics SX-KN2600 have beautiful sensitivity. If you're a piano player, you'll know exactly how important touch sensitivity is, and sometimes, simply because of this feature, the most enjoyable time spent on the keyboard is just playing the piano voice, without anything else- back to basics!
There are also some basic effects which can be turned on or off- Reverb, Sustain, Chorus, Digital Effect, etc. etc.
If you dip into the manual you will see many, many other "things to make and do" on this amazing instrument. I have had mine for over a year now and believe it or not I still haven't investigated some of the more advanced functions lurking deep inside the manual.
One final point- working your way around the keyboard takes a bit of getting used to at first. The navigation system can be a bit odd. But you do eventually get used to it, and it was only a minor hindrance, for a brief while.
As the classical instrument sounds on this keyboard are so exceptional, I've decided to take the plunge and write a classical symphony (nothing if not ambitious!) which I'm looking forward to doing when I get the time.
So- I paid almost £800 for this keyboard and in my opinion it was money very well spent. Then again, I play the keyboard almost every day- it givs me great pleasure and therefore it was well worth the cost. What I would say to you is- how much do you want something like this? Would you play it every day, or would you perhaps lose patience with it or get bored wth it? Not everyone wants to or needs to spend this kind of money on something which may seem like a bit of an extravagance.
But I love it, and it's getting five red stars.