The Score Magazine June 2017 issue - Page 27

• Controllers : The flexibility or ease of access to a keyboard depends on the types and number of controllers present in it. Some of the common controllers are “pitch bend” wheel, “modulation” wheel, Sliders/ Faders. Some of the Yamaha Portable Keyboards and Workstations like the I-455 a PSR-S970 com along with two multi-functionality knobs that can be used to control parameters like Resonance, Cutoff, Reverb, Attack, etc., which are a welcome value addition. • Registers : Another feature for the live performers to watch out for is the number of registers available. A register is where your performance related data such as Instrument settings, style, harmonies, split voices get stored so that you can retrieve them with one click rather than setting it up all over again. It is necessary for a beginner to go for a keyboard with at least 2 registers while 4 will be the recommended number. • Connectivity / MIDI Compatiblity&Storage : If you want to access virtual instruments on your computer through your keyboard, a proper connectivity feature is quintessential. Some of the common connectivity methods are MIDI, USB, S/PDIF, Interface, etc. The next aspect of connectivity deals with the I/O (Input – Output) section of the keyboard. If you want your musical ideas to immediately translate to the next level and get a rough sample of the full song done with the singers within a matter of hours, then you may have to check the audio ins/outs of your keyboard. This helps save time and cost of buying a dedicated interface. MIDI Compatibility is a default feature in almost all the keyboards that arrive now and is something that has become a necessity with the ever rising number of virtual instruments and similar technical advancements. • Sequencing : This is one of the most common features in any type of keyboard. The Sequencer lets a player record his/ her own performance as MIDI Data and play it back as programmed by the user. The number of channels or tracks that a sequencer can accommodate varies from keyboard to keyboard. It is usually between 3-5 on beginner level keyboards. If you think you are more of a creator than a performer, then this feature is something that you may want to look into. While there are many more innovative features that have arrived in many of the present day keyboards, the aforementioned common features have been the basis of development and are important to get an understanding of core aspects of any keyboard. The other steps shall be discussed in the subsequent editions. Author: S.S. Sriram. He is the Founder, Chief Instructor for Keyboard, and Sound Engineer at Sahanas - Live the Dream. Sahanas is an enterprise that primarily aims at providing high-quality Music training and Media Services both online and offline. S.S. Sriram also conducts customized Music Production courses under the same banner. For more details visit The Score Magazine 25