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Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities #2744445
06/14/18 02:47 PM
06/14/18 02:47 PM
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Armenia
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VMK Offline OP
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Hello friends

Please suggest the best 88 weighted key digital piano with Arranger Capabilities.

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Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: VMK] #2744447
06/14/18 03:00 PM
06/14/18 03:00 PM
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Chicago, IL USA
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EPW Offline
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I would say go software for that. Mixcraft Pro Studio on Windows side make it easy to layer sounds, splits etc..
In this day and age I don't see the reason to buy an arranger style keyboard.

My 2¢ worth

Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: VMK] #2744472
06/14/18 04:15 PM
06/14/18 04:15 PM
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Marko in Boston Offline
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I'm not sure if this is still available, but the Korg Havian 30 might be worth a look if you want an affordable arranger with 88 weighted keys.

Our friend Piano Man Chuck reviewed it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3yBmH9ekO0&t=10s

Korg website: http://www.korg.com/us/products/digitalpianos/havian_30/

Thomman Music price: https://www.thomannmusic.com/korg_pro_havian_30.htm


If you have some money, the Kawai CP Series can be fun wink http://www.kawaius.com/digital/CP/cpLanding.html


Last edited by Marko in Boston; 06/14/18 04:18 PM. Reason: typos

KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | YAMAHA CP4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS R65 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD650 | K&M OMEGA
Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: VMK] #2744567
06/14/18 09:10 PM
06/14/18 09:10 PM
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puremusic Offline
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What exactly are the features of an "arranger" keyboard?


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Kontakt - Arturia Piano V - Sonivox Eighty-Eight - Spitfire Symphony Orchestra

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Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: VMK] #2744594
06/15/18 12:48 AM
06/15/18 12:48 AM
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Richmond, BC, Canada
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Charles Cohen Offline
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a) For general information about "arranger keyboards", try here:

http://www.korg.com/us/features/arrangers/

b) I've always assume that the Korg Pa4X / Pa3X must be superb instruments (for what an arranger piano is supposed to do), because they were so expensive. But I see that that line doesn't come with 88 weighted keys!

You might consider a Yamaha DGX660, which has 88 weighted keys. Or a Casio PX-360. But I don't know how either one compares to the Korgs, or whether you would sacrifice "best arranger features" for "88 weighted keys".

Not even the Yamaha Genos, or Tyros, has 88 weighted keys.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: Charles Cohen] #2744639
06/15/18 07:17 AM
06/15/18 07:17 AM
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anotherscott Online content
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
I've always assume that the Korg Pa4X / Pa3X must be superb instruments (for what an arranger piano is supposed to do), because they were so expensive. But I see that that line doesn't come with 88 weighted keys!

Maybe the Havian30?

Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: VMK] #2744702
06/15/18 01:34 PM
06/15/18 01:34 PM
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Finland
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Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: clothearednincompo] #2744716
06/15/18 02:54 PM
06/15/18 02:54 PM
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Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: VMK] #2744811
06/16/18 06:35 AM
06/16/18 06:35 AM
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Finland
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It's not an "approach". It's just a friendly reminder. smile

And as a proper answer to the question: Yamaha CVP series.

They should be quite good as a piano and quite good as an arranger. Maybe not the best piano (not a Kawai Novus) or the best arranger (not a fancy Ketron arranger module), but at least they offer both in the same package.

For a budget option get a Steinmayer DP-380 from Musikhaus Kirstein. (It's actually a Dynatone DPR-3500.) Or the Classic Cantabile DP-A 610. (It's actually a Medeli DP740K or something like that.)

Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: Charles Cohen] #2745541
06/19/18 03:55 AM
06/19/18 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
a) For general information about "arranger keyboards", try here:

http://www.korg.com/us/features/arrangers/

b) I've always assume that the Korg Pa4X / Pa3X must be superb instruments (for what an arranger piano is supposed to do), because they were so expensive. But I see that that line doesn't come with 88 weighted keys!



I have a Korg Pa3x and if you don't have to have weighted keys its a great instrument (but beware its complexity with vocal harmonies, midi file creation and editing, sound sampling etc can get overwhelming). If you can pick up a cheaper Pa3x which has been out now for 7 years or so you can add a free piano (my version) that's comparable with the latest Pa4x for free as I mentioned in another post. YouTube demo https://youtu.be/D2tfClq3kGM

Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: puremusic] #2745556
06/19/18 07:33 AM
06/19/18 07:33 AM
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Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by puremusic
What exactly are the features of an "arranger" keyboard?


It's a keyboard (unweighted key action) containing the following features:
1) Many sounds covering all sound categories
2) Many Rhythms covering all rhythm categories
3) Many auto-accompaniment patterns to overlay all the rhythms---can be controlled by left-hand chord or in full keyboard mode
4) Features that modify the Rhythm in real time (fill-ins, break, sync start, part a to part b interchange)
5) One touch settings (where you can select a music style from bank of styles, and it will set the whole keyboard up for you--sounds, rhythms, effects etc.
6) Sound edit features --- designed to give you quite sophisticated sound control (usually not for live use, but for storage as user preset) including many synthesizer features.
7) 16 track recording / multi-tracking - both in step time, real time etc., for the purpose of pre-arranging backing tracks for live performance
8) Rhythm edit features ---designed to give you control over which drum kits and sounds are used to populate any given rhythm preset (along with the accompaniment).
9) Split sound and combining sound features - so you can split the keyboard up (sound wise)
10) Many other functions (such as sampling sounds, vocal harmonizers, etc etc) designed to give the solo performer as much utility as possible to sound like a whole band.

As far as I'm aware, the only true digital piano equivalent of the arranger keyboard is the Yamaha CVP range of pianos that have mirrored the development of the PSR and Tyros range of keyboards.

Many people have suggested workstations instead, which are not the same as arrangers e.g., the Kronos or Montage. The key thing about an arranger is that you can take it alone to a venue and have full backing for your solo performance. A workstation is all about studio music production rather than live music.

If you want a weighted 88 note arranger, then the CVP series is designed for you. There are no weighted arranger portables though (as far as I know).

Personally, I don't think it's necessary to use an arranger. I'd use something like an RD800 (or Korg/Nord/Kawai equivalent) with a laptop and use computer software to make your backing tracks. Arrangers tend to cover more styles of music (world music, ethnic music, Latin) better than stage pianos or workstations. Also, what the Genos can do with orchestral instruments is so far unparalleled.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: VMK] #2745570
06/19/18 08:42 AM
06/19/18 08:42 AM
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Andrew_G Offline
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Thanks for this interesting info Doug.
Are there good software arrangers, suitable for live performance with application of high-end VSTi?
Probably Ableton Live?

Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: Doug M.] #2745588
06/19/18 09:48 AM
06/19/18 09:48 AM
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anotherscott Online content
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Originally Posted by Doug M.
[The key thing about an arranger is that you can take it alone to a venue and have full backing for your solo performance.


You can do that with a workstation as well. The big difference there is that the arranger automatically/algorithmically generates the backing tracks for you on the fly; whereas on a workstation, you'd have to program your backing tracks in in advance using its sequencer. You have more precise control with the sequencer method, but you have to put a lot more prep work into the performance.

Originally Posted by Doug M.
There are no weighted arranger portables though (as far as I know).

Korg Havian30.

Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: anotherscott] #2745597
06/19/18 10:16 AM
06/19/18 10:16 AM
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Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by anotherscott

Originally Posted by Doug M.
There are no weighted arranger portables though (as far as I know).

Korg Havian30.


That's a nice toy, let me know when it grows up, get's a nice action and turns into something more like a piano version of a Tyros or Genos or even a Pa4X.

Originally Posted by anotherscott
[quote=Doug M.][The key thing about an arranger is that you can take it alone to a venue and have full backing for your solo performance.

Originally Posted by anotherscott
on a workstation, you'd have to program your backing tracks in in advance using its sequencer.


Hence why you can't just go out and play live!

Last edited by Doug M.; 06/19/18 10:19 AM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: VMK] #2745601
06/19/18 10:30 AM
06/19/18 10:30 AM
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Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
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Apologies, I'm being an [censored]... I need to eat.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: VMK] #2745602
06/19/18 10:32 AM
06/19/18 10:32 AM
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Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Offline
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What I would be more interested in would be a digital piano arranger at the level of a Genos or PA4X with the action equivalent to the Grand Feel II.

As I understand, the DGX-660 and the Havian 30 are at a similar level to one another, but are entry level instruments.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: Andrew_G] #2745604
06/19/18 10:37 AM
06/19/18 10:37 AM
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Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by Andrew_G
Thanks for this interesting info Doug.
Are there good software arrangers, suitable for live performance with application of high-end VSTi?
Probably Ableton Live?


Maybe also ImageLine’s FL Studio; One Man Band is another. TBH, I think good arranger keyboards are over-expensive and beginner ones are on a par with some of the mid range PSR series keyboards. Perhaps looking into VSTi's would be best.
Strike that: one man band isn't that good.

Last edited by Doug M.; 06/19/18 10:41 AM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: VMK] #2745608
06/19/18 10:43 AM
06/19/18 10:43 AM
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Doug M. Offline
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Last edited by Doug M.; 06/19/18 10:44 AM.

Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: Doug M.] #2745923
06/20/18 05:12 PM
06/20/18 05:12 PM
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Yarmouth, Maine
piRround Offline
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Originally Posted by Doug M.


Originally Posted by anotherscott

[quote=Doug M.]There are no weighted arranger portables though (as far as I know).

Korg Havian30.


That's a nice toy, let me know when it grows up, get's a nice action and turns into something more like a piano version of a Tyros or Genos or even a Pa4X.

Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by Doug M.
[The key thing about an arranger is that you can take it alone to a venue and have full backing for your solo performance.

Originally Posted by anotherscott
on a workstation, you'd have to program your backing tracks in in advance using its sequencer.


Hence why you can't just go out and play live!


Sheesh. I used to enjoy reading your posts, but I guess I should just take my substandard toy and go elsewhere. Some of us maybe can’t quite afford a $4000 PA4X and are “making do” with our 88 key wannabes.


Sandy

Re: Best Digital piano with Arranger Capabilities [Re: piRround] #2745938
06/20/18 06:18 PM
06/20/18 06:18 PM
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Doug M. Offline
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Originally Posted by piRround
Originally Posted by Doug M.


Originally Posted by anotherscott

[quote=Doug M.]There are no weighted arranger portables though (as far as I know).

Korg Havian30.


That's a nice toy, let me know when it grows up, get's a nice action and turns into something more like a piano version of a Tyros or Genos or even a Pa4X.

Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by Doug M.
[The key thing about an arranger is that you can take it alone to a venue and have full backing for your solo performance.

Originally Posted by anotherscott
on a workstation, you'd have to program your backing tracks in in advance using its sequencer.


Hence why you can't just go out and play live!


Sheesh. I used to enjoy reading your posts, but I guess I should just take my substandard toy and go elsewhere. Some of us maybe can’t quite afford a $4000 PA4X and are “making do” with our 88 key wannabes.



Yeah, I kinda get cranky when low on blood sugar. If you noticed, I apologised for being a bit harsh.

Look, you can actually get a really superb arranger on the second hand market if you are looking for something with a bit more ability. I've always said on this site that new digitals/keyboards etc are over-priced and the depreciation is steeper than for cars.

If on a low budget for digital portable pianos, also consider second hand. You get more amplification, better action for the money.

If it were me, the Havian 30 has more amplification than the DGX660. That's probably a good part of the reason it's dearer.
Don't know how much arranger ability the Casio PX360 has? It says: 200 Built-in Rhythms 10 User Rhythms One Touch Preset. The other things the Yamaha has (built in effects for microphone) you can buy units for that which will do a far better job.

The nice thing about the Casio PX360 is that the action is far better quality (at low price points, the Casio has the best action for your money). I'd even suggest looking at the Casio PX5S except it doesn't have half-pedalling. That instrument has some really nice synth features: quite powerful for the price.

Depends really on what you want. Do you value being able to play it as a straight piano? If so, I'd favour the Casio PX360 over the DGX or Havian 30. Otherwise, the Korg Havian is probably the best overall due to the price. The only downside is the action. Korg actions are not up to Casio's. The best Kong action is the RH3 action. The Havian 30 doesn't have that according to the specifications.. The PX360 action is probably a tad better than the RH3 action, maybe---just to give you an idea.

I wonder if you can test the instruments out in a store. The Yamaha and Korg should be available.


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand

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