Yamaha P225

The Yamaha P 225 was designed with a singular goal in mind: deliver the sound of a concert hall acoustic piano with the practicality of an electronic keyboard. Yamaha, renowned for the performance of its acoustic pianos, designed this new keyboard with the latest technological advances to give performers everything they need to deliver an amazing piano sound.

The P 225’s main technological advancement is the acoustic piano sampling that Yamaha digitized into the keyboard. Each key has a combination of three samples that develops a robust digital sound. An acoustic piano produces sound by transferring the energy required to push the key down into a hammer that strikes metal strings. The strings vibrate and produce a sound which resonates throughout the wood structure of the piano. Yamaha realized that by combining a range of samples would allow for the electronic piano to mimic the varying amount of energy that can be transferred by a key on an acoustic piano.

The soundboard on the P 225 is programmed to produce the same key-off sound of the acoustic piano. It also produces a realistic staccato and legato sound differential that is highly realistic. The keyboard also produces the secondary resonance vibration in neighboring strings that is found in the best concert hall acoustic pianos. Yamaha designed the sympathetic vibration to continue through the action of the keyboard, which is the same sort of feedback that concert pianists demand. This sympathetic vibration is featured in the digital samples is the technological key to the P 225’s success.

The key feel of the P 225 is produced by it’s proprietary Graded Hammer Action produces the left hand heavy action that is felt in an acoustic piano action. This gives the keys a gradual feedback pressure that pianists desire. The keys are coated with a synthetic ivory finish designed to prevent key slippage. The coating also gives the keys the same tacky feel that is so prevalent in Yamaha’s Grand acoustic pianos.

The P 225’s speaker system is designed to accurately replicate the acoustic sound. Featuring integrated high definition tweeters and dual woofers, the keyboard’s sound is balanced and
acoustically correct. The keyboard also plays a variety of drum beats, has an iPhone app integration and a touch screen interface that allows for a variety of sound variances that are desirable in many performance settings.

The keyboard also comes with the highly praised Yamaha FC4 sustain pedal. This pedal is designed to perform with the same feedback and sound of an acoustic piano sustain pedal. The pedal is designed with a variable dampening spring that gives the user the ability to keep the sustain at the proper placement during high tempo performances. The sustain pedal is designed to be sensitive enough to give a digital sampling of the hammer falling on strings.

Yamaha’s goal of producing acoustic piano sound in an electronic keyboard is clearly achieved with the P 225 with amazing accuracy and quality sound. Every feature of the P 225 is aimed at the discriminating performer that wants a realistic feel from the easily transported and set-up electronic keyboard.

Nektar Impact LX88 USB/MIDI-Keyboard

The Nektar Impact LX88 USB/MIDI-Keyboard is undoubtedly one of the best and most unique USB keyboards in the market today for keyboard players keen on extended reach. From the 88-note semi-weighted sensitive keyboard and 8 velocity-sensitive pads to rubber fader caps, low profile & lightweight design, the Nektar Impact LX88 looks, feels and performs perfectly. The keyboard’s DAW integration with popular DAW’s makes it extremely easy to set up and get going. Below is a detailed discussion of the Nektar Impact LX88 main features to help you understand why the keyboard stands out.

Keyboard features
The Nektar Impact LX88 features an 88-note semi weighted velocity-sensitive keyboard which delivers unbiased medium tension. The
keyboard also features full-size piano keys which are covered to offer dust/dirt protection as well as complement the Impact LX88’s design. The LX88’s keyboard also has four velocity curves which increase in dynamics gradually to cater for all playing styles. In case you don’t want velocity, there are three fixed velocity levels which offer a consistent output. Other notable keyboard features include; transpose buttons, pitch bend as well as modulation wheels which allow players to apply additional articulation using the wheels or shift the LX88’s keyboard up/down
quickly as needed.

Layer, split and transpose buttons
The Nektar Impact LX88 is capable of sending on up to three zones concurrently. The layer button adds the layer zone. The spit button adds the split zone. Whenever layer or split is on, the corresponding LED lights up to avoid confusion. Zones can be specially programmed to send their own unique MIDI channels with essential settings adjustable or pre-programmed during
performances. This is done by the 2 transpose buttons located below the layer and split buttons.

The LX88 also has options allowing you to switch channels (Global MIDI channel), send MIDI Program messages as well as select any of the 5 user presets with the transpose or octave buttons. When you press layer or split while pressing transpose buttons, you can be able to change currently assigned settings for the active zone.

Control center
The Nektar Impact LX88 has 9-30 mm faders, 8 encoders and 9 MIDI buttons in the middle of the control panel. Each of these controls is fully programmable which allows transmission of MIDI CC
messages for use with software or hardware MIDI products. The controls basically exist independently thanks to the Nektar DAW integration which provides flexible premapped DAW control. You can be able to store control settings in whichever of the five impact LX88 keyboard presets for recalling at any time. You can also store any parameter values when you alter presets if you enable ”null on” for presets. This feature helps in parameter jumping.

The Nektar Impact LX88 has velocity sensitive pads which make life easy when creating beats and grooves. Each of the keyboard’s large 3 by 3 cm pads connect to any MIDI-CC message or MIDI note number allowing them to be used as MIDI toggle or trigger buttons. The LX88 also has a ”pad learn” feature which allows players to select a pad and play the preferred drum or note sound. There are no complex menu options for pad tasks which allows players to utilise the LX88’s pads to the fullest. Assignments are also stored preventing setting losses when you power off your keyboard. In addition, the Nektar Impact LX88 has 4-pad map locations which store all your keyboard settings for future recalls.

Other features

1. Dimensions: 50.25 by 11 by 3.5 inches length, width and height respectively.

2. Weight: 18 lbs

3. System features: The LX88 is class compliant. You don’t need any driver. The keyboard works with Windows XP, OSX or higher.

4. Daw integration: Mac OS by 10.7, Windows vista, 7 and 8 or higher.

5. Connections: USB port for powering & communicating with computers among other devices i.e. iPads via optional USB connection Kit. Other connections; MIDI out, foot switch sustain ¼’’ jack input, power supply socket which is PSU optional 9volts 600mA.