Keyboard workstations have been ultimate game changers for the music industry. Their features allow you to both record and play music at the same time. There are many different styles to choose from and of course they vary in price, but we think we have the best of the best today, so we are really excited to share them with you. If you want to try making your own music from the comfort of your own home, but are not too sure how to start, then you have come to the right place. Do you want to know what the best keyboard workstation under $500 is, well don’t worry we’ve got you covered.
What Is A Keyboard Workstation
Keyboard workstations can be used by both performers and composers to create music. In addition to the more general aspects of a keyboard, they also have more synth sounds and more effects and sounds such as advanced patch editing and sequencing. They will undoubtedly add performance and sonic versatility to your music which is exciting for any artist. It can accommodate all of your needs, and can be used at a live gig or in a studio setting.
They are relatively known more in hip-hop genre, but a singer-songwriter who is not that tech-savvy is able to use them.
What Are The Features Of A Keyboard Workstation
Blend of Synthesis – There are many different features that you can use on a keyboard workstation, such as analog modeling and sample playback, which many other types of professional keyboards would not have. Sampling functionality can even be used, so you can record any sound and reproduce it in differing pitches across the keyboard. Pretty cool right?
Combination Of Sound Generation – one of the most impressive features of a workstation keyboard is that you can combine more than one sound at a time, therefore if you are a songwriter, you could arrange drums, bass, organ and guitar all in one sound. That is extremely clever and I think that juxtaposition between playing an instrument and being in control of what type of sound and effect you can hear is technology at its best. Why not add vocals if you keyboard workstation allows you too. In short, you can create some utterly unique compositions with these machines.
Sequencing & Audio Recording – workstations allow you to record a sequence of audio alongside each other. Whether this may be accompaniment tracks, backing tracks guitar or vocals. The effects and sounds you can make really are endless which gives the artist their creativity and allows for live performances to really shine. Or you can purely be writing music and you may create a whole piece from trying different techniques on the workstation. Accuracy and authenticity are what you are searching for in your music as artists, so this will help you achieve that in spades.
Effects Processing – All keyboard workstations include onboard effects processors, which means that an original sound can be turned into something electric and it can be done to one individual track or the whole mix. If you have a workstation that includes audio recording allows for EQ and dynamics processing, which help to manipulate the frequency and smooth it out. You essentially mix your own sound on the keyboard, which you certainly cannot do on a normal professional keyboard.
Top 8 Keyboard Workstations of 2022
Now we have given you the lowdown of what a keyboard workstation does, here are the best ones out there right now.
Roland Fantom 08
The Roland Fantom 08 Workstation Keyboard offers fantastic key-action to lush pads and incredible drum kits, it is the best overall of all the workstations out there.
The Keybed is top notch, along with the ability for you to see changes from filter sweeps to passes due to the color touchscreen.
Equipped with an expressive 88-note keyboard with weighted action, FANTOM-08 has everything you need to create and perform at the highest level. There are hands-on controls, and deep computer integration derived from the flagship models.
The sequencer is at the top of the game as well. If you are looking for the best keyboard workstation out there, then you may have found it.
The Roland Fantom workstation keyboard price is between £2,729.00 – £3,399.00.
Yamaha Montage 8
The Yamaha keyboard workstation offers a stand out interface which would impress many of the Montage series lovers and it doesn’t disappoint.
The Super knob feature can combine one or more features at once and can create improv effects in a live setting or if you are experimenting in the studio. It challenges the dynamics of the music you can create and so even when you are tackling the piano part for example, you can arrange it to have more reverb, adding more natural hormones and warmth to the track. You can also assign the Super Knob to be a foot pedal as well if you need to use both hands to play.
The Montage 8 is an upgrade to the ever-popular Yamaha Motif series. There is aftertouch on the keys and the key-bed feels really nice as well. The sound library is also massive, coming in with over 2100 pre-set patches with an arpeggiator that also has over 10,000 types to pick from. There is versatility to this workstation as it can work for different genres, so artists who enjoy music anywhere in between chilled pop sounds to EDM music will be able to jump on the vibe of this machine.
The Yamaha Montage workstation keyboard price is £3,444.
Korg has an impressive reputation for workstations and you can understand why with this type of keyboard. This Korg workstation keyboard features seems to be more streamlined compared to the iconic Korg Kronos and it now has 9 different sounds that you can play around with and edit.
The Nautilus pushes the boundaries of what a performance synth and workstation is capable of. With the power of nine engines to drive a new approach to sounds, plentiful sampling, audio recording, effects, and processing power, as a synth it delivers to explore sonically, with the workflow to get you there faster than ever.
Korg spent years refining all our digital, analog, processing, and hardware technologies and delivering them in a way that helps the musician connect with their instrument. It is certainly an instrument that you can use for your whole career.
The Korg Nautilus keyboard workstation price is £1,695.00
The PC4 SE is equipped with 88 fully balanced keys that add an authentic piano feel. Thanks to FlashPlay technology and 2 GB of tool samples, it offers more than 1,500 manually selected factory presets arranged in 10 categories.
The flashplay technology is something of real value as it loads far faster than the Nautilus keyboard. All together with an impressive sound engine, it has got a lot of attention for all the right reasons.
The Kurzweil PC-4 keyboard workstation price is £1,499
This keyboard workstation is a great option for a more affordable piece of kit and it is respected amongst touring musicians alike, since it only weighs 35 pounds. It is compatible with laptops as a MIDI controller and works well during a live performance.
You are able to create a variety of sounds with 16 pads to use in your DAW and to fine tune this even more, set the internal setting to pad assign mode. You can sync the pads to your DAW and then use the pads for drums all in the touch of one button.
Roland’s powerful FA series streamlines the music workstation for effortless real-time power, ultra-fast workflow, and maximum versatility. Equipped with an 88-note weighted-action keyboard – which some say is the closest feel to ivory that a workstation can get and the FA-08 provides authentic feel and response for piano-based performers.
The Roland FA-08 keyboard workstation is £1,399
Yamaha MOXF6 Music Production Workstation
This workstation might just be the most affordable and have 61 keys, which are semi-weighted. It has all the similar features of the high end workstations but it’s just a little cheaper.
It is portable, as it is smaller and lighter which makes it easy once again to tour with.
A great little feature is the flash drive so you can then install synthesizer samples which is clever. Also, there are 3900 pre-set sounds, but you may want to upload some more if they are not up to scratch.
The MOXF6 keyboard workstation price is £799 – so not bad for under £1,000!
Korg Kross 2
This keyboard workstation is compact and portable with a huge range of sounds. While maintaining its identity as ultra-lightweight, compact, and capable of running on batteries, this new model dramatically enhances KROSS’s sounds and functionality. In addition to a total of more than a thousand preset sounds, expansion PCM memory has been newly added. Also new is a pad sampler that allows full-fledged sampling, and USB audio/MIDI interface functionality. The color scheme is even more stylish, and the user interface allows intuitive operation even by beginners.
Effortlessly select the sound that you want to play, shape it to match your imagination, sample a sound, create phrases and rhythms, record your vocal or guitar, bring KROSS 2 on stage, and perform. Whatever you artistic vision, you can make it happen. KROSS 2 is a versatile synthesizer platform made with creative freedom in mind.
The Korg Kross 2 keyboard workstation price is £549.00
Casio WK 6600
And finally, but by no means least, we have the Casio WK 6600, aligned with the more budget line of workstations.It has a two-level touch responsive 76 key digital keyboard piano and workstation and it is highly portable.
It has 700 built-in tones, 210 accompaniments and the ability to customize the latter with the tone and rhythm editor feature so if you are looking for a more intermediate level keyboard workstation, here it is.
One of the benefits of the Casio WK 6600 is that quite a few of the WK-6600’s pre-programmed instrument sounds are of very high quality, like the organs. It also features top notch effects, such as Reverb, Chorus, Auto Pan, Tremolo, Rotary, Phaser, Chorus, Reflection, Enhancer, Filter, Delay, Compressor and Ring Mod, which is great for the price.
The Casio WK 6600 keyboard workstation price is £592.25
So there you have it, do you agree that these are the best keyboard workstations of 2022?
It is subject to opinion of course, but if you are looking for a new keyboard workstation or just starting out, there are plenty to suit all levels as you can see.
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