I’m a huge fan of workstation keyboards, being able to access so many sounds quickly without loading times is such a great workflow. I came up on hardware keyboards, but I never used to pay attention to the stage keyboards.
I’d say Nord is probably the most popular when it comes to this category, and though I was familiar with the Nord Lead, I hadn’t really spent any time with the stage keyboards, at least not until the past few years.
Yamaha has also thrown their hat into the stage keyboard ring with the CP and YC series.
What I’ve come to realize is that I love these types of instruments because they are so immediate. You have great sounds, and you can quickly tweak the sounds using the controls for various fx, eq, speaker/amp simulation, etc.
There are settings under the hood, but there isn’t much menu diving needed to get to the sound you want, it reminds me of using an analog synth in some ways.
Anyway, I keep finding myself drawn to these instruments, and the YC61 is a great example of this category. It is compact, I love the waterfall keybed, the drawbars, and all of the control you get over the fx.
Plus, it has great sounds, which is the most important part.
So even though I’m not a live musician, even though I’m not gigging, I can still truly appreciate the functionality of this instrument in a production/beat making setup.
It would be interesting to see someone mix this layout (drawbars, controls for each fx, eq, section) with that of a workstation (big ole touch screen in the middle, etc), if that exists and I’ve missed it please let me know!
Grab a Yamaha YC61 from zZsounds if you’re interested: https://www.zzounds.com/a–1786589/item–YAMYC61?siid=275131
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