5 Best Keyboard Workstation For Live Performance In 2021

Best Keyboard Workstation For Live PerformanceWith the popularity of music-based video games and streaming, more and more people are entering the world of making music. But where do you start? One way is to purchase a keyboard workstation – it’s an instrument that combines features of a synthesizer, sequencer, sampling system, MIDI controller, and digital audio workstation into one unit. This article will discuss what to look for when purchasing your first keyboard workstation. 

You are tired of your touchy “non-weighted” controller keyboard. You’ve seen the YouTube videos that show up at least once or twice a day, the ridiculously large master keyboards with all kinds of bells and whistles packed into them, but you can’t afford one. Not to mention how heavy it would be to move around.

If you’re just starting out in music production keyboard or looking for an upgrade from your current setup then this article is perfect for you! We’ll cover what’s available on the market today and how to make sure you get the best keyboard workstation for live performance!

As musicians, we want to be able to play instruments live with the best equipment possible. Using a keyboard workstation is one of the most popular ways for performers to get their sound out there in front of an audience. Whether you are looking at synthesizers or digital pianos, here are some things that you should look for when making your purchase.  

A keyboard workstation combines several different keyboards into one unit and provides many more sounds than just a traditional piano. This makes it easier for musicians who travel often or simply don’t have room (or budget) to buy multiple pieces of equipment separately. Here’s what you need to know about these devices before buying your own!

There are a number of workstation keyboards that offer both great sounds and feel, from the likes of Yamaha, Korg, and Roland. The main concern has always been with how easy it is to use them live. In my experience, most people want to be able to plug in their instrument through the audio interface, select a sound at the press of a few buttons or knobs and play away.

5 Best Keyboard Workstation For Live Performance In 2021

  1. Casio WK-6600 76-Key Workstation Keyboard with Power Supply

This is a 6 track song sequencer + 1 system track that supports recording of up to 5 songs or approximately 30,000 notes. It combines instrumentals from the 210 built-in rhythms, toggle individual instrumental portions and adjust parameters to create your own personal rhythms. With the Tone Editor, attack and release time, cut off, vibrato, reverb, chorus, and DSP can be adjusted based on your preferences.

Casio WK 6600 76 Key Workstation Keyboard

Casio keyboard WK-6600 76-Key Workstation Keyboard with Power Supply is a professional keyboard that features a choice of 700 tones to expand your music creativity. It offers 48 notes of polyphony to prevent dropped notes and comes with built-in effects, including 10 reverbs, 5 choruses, and 100 DSP types. The WK-6600 also includes a sequencer for recording up to 100 track patterns and 16 songs. Additionally, the keyboard has an LCD display for editing functions such as voices

The WK-6600 has two octave shift buttons, allowing you to play in different keys without having to change the pitch of your notes. It also features an arpeggiator/sequencer for playing multiple notes at once and recording them into a sequence. You can use this keyboard as a MIDI controller for Windows or Mac computers without downloading drivers or as a controller for the Apple iPad.

It features an easy to use interface and a variety of tools for creating music including a sequencer, arpeggiator, and drum machine. This can be the perfect choice for musicians who want to create their own original compositions or simply enjoy playing some classic songs from various genres. This keyboard measures 16 inches wide by 7 inches deep by 2 inches high and weighs about 10 pounds.

Pros
  • Eight drum sets

  • 100 built in rhythms

  • Four track recorders

  • Six different tones

  • Power supply

Cons
  • Not highly recommended for live performances.

  • Dust cover not included.

  • Sound adjustment issues.

  1. Yamaha PSRSX600 Arranger Workstation keyboard

The Yamaha PSRSX600 arranger workstation keyboard is a powerful system that features a sleek, modern design with an integrated stand and piano-style keyboard. The advanced sound engine includes 128-note polyphony, stereo sampling capability and 384 voices. The sequencer can store up to 1,000 songs with 64 tracks per song for recording vocals, guitar or other instruments alongside your music. In addition to the standard rhythm styles, you can create your own custom patterns using the onboard drum.

Yamaha PSRSX600 Arranger Workstation keyboard

With its unique Unison function, the Style accompaniment parts can follow your performance in real-time, for example, the signature hook from “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder or the ending passage from James Brown’s “I Feel Good.” The PSRSX600 also provides an extensive collection of Styles and presets that cover all popular musical styles.

Yamaha’s workstation keyboard is a powerful instrument that gives you the tools to create great music. This keyboard features a wide range of sounds, including Super Articulation Voices, which emulate the expressive nuances of non-keyboard instruments for realistic expression during the performance. The 1/4″ microphone input lets you sing along while you play and hear your voice through the instrument’s speakers. You can even record your performance to USB audio.

This Workstation is a 61-key keyboard with piano-style keys and a full 88-note range. It features 600 voices, including world instruments and drums. The built in speakers are powered by 10W + 10W amplifiers to deliver crisp sound quality.

it has an advanced keyboard that features a unique Style Section Reset function that allows you to easily go back to beat one of bar one with just the touch of a button, allowing you to smoothly restart songs on the fly.

Pros
  • Create custom tones from scratch

  • Blending of different patches

  • Power adapter

  • 26 pounds weight

  • Easy to use

  • 128 note polyphony

  • 8 track squencers

  • 40 preset styles

Cons
  • The manual system is not complete
  1. Korg Kross 2 61-Key Performance – Synthesizer Workstation

The Korg Kross 2 61-Key Performance Synthesizer Workstation is a complete performance synthesizer that gives you the freedom to create and perform your music any way you like. With its advanced, expressive synthesis engine and powerful effects, it’s easy to get the sounds you want. Plus, with an intuitive user interface and onboard sequencer, creating music is simple and fun. The Korg Kross 2 will inspire you to produce music like never before. And with a built-in audio recorder, it’s easy to capture your ideas as they come to you.

Korg Kross 2 61 Key Performance Synthesizer Workstation

its latest iteration in the popular line of keyboard synthesizers, which has been around since 1997. This new version boasts an improved sound engine with more than 1,000 sounds onboard; MIDI connectivity that can be used for sequencing; and USB functionality to allow users to connect directly to computers for recording purposes, as well as two mic/line inputs with phantom power to accommodate external instruments or recording devices.

The KROSS 2 provides two sound engines, with each engine capable of producing layers or splits for massive sounds without draining system resources. It also offers an onboard 16 track recorder with audio inputs for creating demos on the fly. With its intuitive user interface, and backlit LCD display.

It lets you create music quickly and easily by combining the power of a pro synth engine with the simplicity of a sampler. The Korg Kross 2 features two high-quality PCM tone generators that are capable of reproducing the sounds of legendary vintage instruments as well as cutting-edge modern sounds. It also features dual effects processors, which can be used to process each part independently or together for increased sonic possibilities.

Pros
  • 61 key performance synthesizer

  • Sound engine with 128 voices

  • Drum machine with 30 patterns

  • 2 sound engines

  • USB port

Cons
  • Inconvenient settings

  • The step sequencer is not good.

  1. Roland FA-06 61-Key Music – Workstation 16 Backlit Pads

Roland’s FA-06 is a 61-key music workstation that is perfect for musicians who want to take their performance to the next level, allowing you to express yourself musically with dynamic control over your sounds. You can even customize the colors of each pad.

Roland Music Workstation with 16 Backlit Pads

The Roland FA-06 is a 61-key music workstation with 16 backlit pads and an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. The large color display makes it easy to see what you’re doing and the controls are laid out in an efficient manner that allows you to focus on your performance without having to search for the right button.

It is a reimagined music workstation designed to maximize your creative flow. A lightweight, mobile body with 61 keys and 16 backlit pads provides the ideal balance of portability and power for inspiring musical expression on the go. The new Sound Canvas engine offers a massive collection of sounds that can be freely combined into original patches, while the newly developed step sequencer makes it easy to create patterns that evolve in real-time.

It has an internal wave sound expansion slot, allowing you to add even more tones via optional PCM cards. The FA-06 also has an acoustic tone generator that can be used as the main keyboard sound source or layered with external sounds. The built-in rhythm patterns are designed for use with the onboard drum sounds and are great for live performance or practice.

The FA-06 also includes a built-in speaker as well as a 1/8″ stereo headphone output for convenient on-the-go playing. In addition to its powerful sound engine, the FA-06 is packed with advanced features such as SuperNATURAL synth tones and acoustic sounds and drums.

It has 16 Backlit Pads is a powerful and portable workstation that gives you the freedom to create music anywhere. It features an intuitive layout of controls, sliders, knobs, and buttons for maximum creative flexibility. The SuperNATURAL synth engine provides an authentic recreation of classic sounds from Roland’s legendary lineup of synthesizers including the Jupiter 8, Juno 60, JX-3P and JD-800.

Pros
  • 61 velocity-sensitive synth-action keys

  • 16 backlit pads

  • More than 500 built-in sounds

Cons
  • Sampler and features are not complete

  • Lack of SDXC support for SD cards of 128GBs

  1. Korg KROME 88-Key Music Workstation Keyboard

The KROME 88-Key Music Workstation Keyboard & Synthesizer is the ideal instrument for keyboard players who want to dive deep into exploring synthesizers, sampling, and sequencing. It includes a studio-quality digital multi-effect processor with over 30 effects that can be applied to its extensive internal sounds or external audio sources connected via USB. It also comes equipped with an arpeggiator, pattern sequencer, phrase sequencer, and an assignable X/Y pad controller for manipulating multiple parameters simultaneously.

Korg KROME 88 Key Music Workstation Keyboard

It features a massive collection of high-quality sounds, including the flagship Korg M3 “Supernatural” Piano and new Xpander sound set. The KROME Korg provides a full range of performance features, including the acclaimed Arranger Workstation for easy song creation from your own performances.

An 88-key, fully weighted and semi-weighted keyboard that features an all-new piano sound engine, plus a variety of new electric pianos. The Krome’s ultra-responsive keyboard lets you play naturally in any environment. Its pristine piano sounds are derived from the flagship KRONOS music workstation. And its newly developed electric pianos deliver a powerful range of tones with realistic touch response and dynamic expression.

The Krome also boasts an upgraded drum sound module with more than 900 patterns and 640 preset grooves for building beats quickly and easily. this keyboard delivers an intuitive, satisfying experience from its full-color Touch View display with an advanced graphic user interface to its 16 track sequencer with touch-based piano roll editing and plug-in Editor software.

It  provides the feel of an acoustic piano with weight, response, and stability that only a real grand can offer. The powerful onboard sequencer allows you to record up to four tracks simultaneously – each track being made up of any combination of internal sounds or external MIDI devices – for a total of 16 tracks. three oscillators deliver all the power and versatility you need for any style of music. Each oscillator offers five waveforms, including triangle, sawtooth, pulse (with variable width), and two types of noise for maximum sound creation flexibility.

Pros
  • 88 weighted keys

  • New operating system

  • Large color touch screen

  • 16 physical outputs

Cons
  • Motherboard issues

  • Not recommended for novices.

Best Keyboard Workstation For Live Performance – Buying guide

The most portable and compact keyboard workstation is a perfect solution for live performance with your prerecorded backing tracks.  When you’re out of the studio, it can be the best equipment to use in every environment from large nightclubs to small coffee shops.  

One of the most important aspects of music production is to have an appropriate keyboard workstation. A good choice can enable you to unleash your creativity and become a real “keyboard wizard”. The right piece of equipment can boost your morale by putting everything under your fingers. You will feel like you are playing at another level than before. It can be one of the best investments that you ever made for your creative process, offering you new ways to write songs, layer sounds, and mix tracks.

The aim of this article is to cover the workstations that are at their best when it comes to live performance; I’ve held back on covering software emulation (with the exception of Reason) simply because they’re not real hardware, and their use in a live situation varies hugely depending upon your experience.

  • The best keyboards should have excellent quality keybeds – velocity-sensitive ‘butter’ for lack of a better word, weighted hammers, etc if you want them – but also go one step further by allowing you full customization i.e. so you can choose how many controls appear on screen at any given time, or whether certain functions are displayed or accessible at all times thereby avoiding having to refer back to the manual every time you want to access a commonly used feature.
  • The idea is that if you’re paying over a grand for a keyboard, you want it to be as easy as possible to set up and use live – not just in terms of programming but customizing the user interface so that information is laid out in the best way possible.
  • A good MIDI keyboard controller is the one that will make you feel like playing on a real piano! Moreover, some units can be used for handling loops (that’s what they call them in the studio) or even programming patches. You’d better know if you want your new piece of equipment to send standard CC messages or RPN/NRPNs, because not all of them do both!
  • Most keyboards are equipped with semi-weighted keys, but there are also fully weighted ones. When it comes to semi-weighted, most musicians prefer Fatar TP/40es because they have aftertouch and great action. They’re almost as expensive as Yamaha Montage 8 though.
  • Another thing to take into account when getting a controller is the key velocity curve. It can be linear or exponential, which is a matter of personal taste in the end.
  • some MIDI keyboards have sliders and rotary knobs too… But you will probably have to pay more for these controllers, because they’re mainly made for studio use. In fact, they are called workstations!
  •  when it comes to live performance, they just don’t cut it! That’s why I recommend getting a simple keyboard with a pitch/mod joystick instead

Conclusion

The keyboard is an integral part of the workstation.  If you are looking for a new one, go with one that has ergonomics in mind and features like the adjustable height to fit your needs, this article had all the information.

A workstation keyboard is a key component of modern music. But how do you know which one will be right for your needs? In this blog post, we’ve discussed what features are most important when picking out the best workstation keyboard and synthesizer from brands like Roland, Korg, Yamaha, and Casio. 

The best keyboard workstation for live performance is the one that you find most comfortable and efficient to use. This may be a hybrid piano-style, full digital, or even acoustic if your budget allows it. With new products on the market like Yamaha’s  (which we wrote about here), there are more options than ever before! No matter what kind of setup you choose, make sure to give yourself enough room so that you can move freely without knocking anything over. 

 In all these workstations, The KROME 88-Key Music Workstation Keyboard & Synthesizer is the perfect keyboard for performers who want to experience high-quality sound and performance. It has a variety of features such as full-size keys, USB outputs so you can plug straight into your computer, 8 effects units, velocity-sensitive keys with aftertouch, and arpeggiator/sequencer all at an affordable price.

FAQs

Which keyboard is best for live performance?

I would say the Roland A-88 or Korg M3D. A controller can be more responsive than a physical keyboard for live performance, because you can’t really hit any wrong notes when playing. It’s easy to solo out each track in your DAW and use Tools like Jazz Generators, Delay Maniacs, Flangers, Chorus Machines, etc. – all the sweet stuff that makes people go wild. You can also play melodies with different arpeggiators in parallel by using another MIDI Controller besides the keys.

Which is the best workstation keyboard?

First of all, your “best” keyboard is the one that fits you best and suits what you need it to do. I’ve found the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 Mid-Size is a popular choice, but any will work if they fit your hands and needs correctly.

It’s also worth mentioning that it’s not just about which keyboard is best for typing–there are other factors such as knee protection and wrist space that come into play. And of course, most importantly, know your budget: prices range from $40-$120 for a decent quality mid-sized ergonomic keyboard!

What keyboards do professional musicians use?

 A lot of musicians use a MIDI controller that they plug into a sound module or keyboard with synthesizers on board, which is then plugged into the PA system.

However, some also prefer using a “traditional” stand-alone keyboard to create their music. The reason being is because the finger movements are easier to control and it forces them to focus more on performance instead of how quickly they can press different keys. It’s also considered more intuitive, making it easier for beginners who don’t have any formal musical training.

Is Korg Better Than Yamaha?

 Korg is better than Yamaha when it comes to inexpensive synthesizers. One notable strength of the currently available instruments by Korg is their affordability when compared to many other brands. 

What should I Look for in a workstation keyboard?

 A good keyboard needs the right height – the key height needs to match your hands and be comfortable. The keys should have a little resistance, but not too much. When typing, a keyboard should also have space between each of its keys so that you don’t accidentally hit two keys at once when touch-typing.

It’s recommended to start by examining the keyboard from behind with your arms relaxed at your sides, so you can see how easy it would be to put your fingers on all of the correct places without looking down. 

What is the best workstation synth?

The best synth for the workstation is selected by asking what kind of sound you want, what genre you’re trying to emulate, and how much flexibility you want.

There are many different factors that affect which synthesizer is ideal for a given user. generally, Korg’s M1 Synthesizer wins out because of its many variants (especially when combined with plug-ins) and rich sound. But ultimately it depends on what your needs are; if they require more flexibility then Yamaha may be better.

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