A large number of options make selecting an electronic keyboard difficult these days. Not only are there a variety of types ranging from high-end to low-end, but there are also numerous brands within each category that are available in a variety of venues.
Beginner keyboards are made with the beginner in mind. These typically have two to four octaves, and a small number of digitised instrument sounds for enjoyment. Because the keys are constructed of plastic rather than ivory, they do not feature weighted keys like those found on real acoustic pianos.
Arrangers differ from those used by beginners in that they have more advanced features. Arrangers have large libraries of pre-recorded accompaniment recordings in almost every musical genre (indie rock, reggae, classic country, techno). These are popular among solo performers who want to create the impression of a one-man-band. Arrangers typically have
voice backup, chord recognition software, and USB interfaces. The keyboardist’s music is frequently recorded and placed into a memory bank.
A workstation provides the most control for musicians who want to influence every component of an original composition. Note by note; data can be methodically recorded and digitally modified. Workstations include everything that arrangers do, plus more. Depending on the type of workstation, it may include an integrated synthesiser as standard equipment.
The term “synthesise” refers to creating something new from nothing or distorting existing material. Synthesisers are devices used to create digital sounds and effects that humans create. Although a synthesiser resembles a standard keyboard, it serves very distinct purposes and functions. Synthesisers, which use analog or digital signal processing, create unusual sounds that an ordinary keyboard cannot.
Modern organs lack metal pipes, are smaller, and seek to replicate the tones of older organs. In addition, certain organ simulations have attempted to replicate traditional organ features such as drawbars, pedalboards, and numerous key decks (called manuals).
An arranger, digital workstation, synthesiser, organ, or piano can be mixed and matched to create a hybrid. Hybrids combine the greatest features of both worlds into one package. For example, some performers require several functionalities, which eliminates the need to purchase separate instruments.
Digital pianos cap the range of electronics. These resemble classical grand pianos on the outside but lack strings and hammers on the inside. As a result, digital pianos do not produce acoustic sounds. Instead, when keys are pressed, computer chips store digitised recordings, which are then played back over amplified speakers.
The upright piano, both digital and acoustic, and the grand piano, have similar shapes and lacquered finishes. Because digital versions are lighter than traditional counterparts, they are easier to transport. They may have 88 black and white keys, but they don’t use strings or hammers to make a sound.
The stage piano is the most professional musicians use when travelling from gig to gig. While it has the same portability as a digital home piano, the quality of the materials used to create it differs.
A stage piano is more durable, making it ideal for live performances on the stage. In addition, they’re designed to withstand the demands of professional play. The capabilities of this sort of digital keyboard vary by brand, but it lacks the functionality of arranger keyboards. Some manufacturers may bundle it with a stand and a music rack, but others, such as the sustain pedal, are available separately.
These are some of the styles that you can choose from. Your choice will depend on how long you have been playing and your level of musicality.