Friday, June 29, 2007

Yamaha YPG-625

Yamaha YPG-625 88-Key Weighted Portable Grand Keyboard



Yamaha YPG-625 88-Key Weighted Portable Grand Keyboard



Cutting-edge technology with authentic piano feel.

Yamaha YPG-625 88-Key Weighted Portable Grand Keyboard Features:

* 88-key weighted graded hammer-action keyboard with authentic grand piano-like touch, heavier in the low end, lighter in the high, and amazingly responsive
* Authentic, super-expressive Live!, Cool!, and Sweet! voices, plus full XGlite sound
* Total of 500 realistic instrument voices (including 12 Drum/SFX kits) and 150 accompaniment styles
* USB to HOST terminal for quick and easy computer connection
* USB to DEVICE terminal for convenient memory stick storage and easily playing standard MIDI data
* Music database with 267 song records for instantly setting the entire instrument to match a desired genre
* 16-part multitimbral capability for sequencer recording applications
* Comprehensive song recording functions
* Easy Song Arranger feature and Performance Assistant technology with score and lyric information displayed
* Includes stand

The YPG-625, part of Yamaha's Portable Grand series of keyboards, boasts a total of 500 realistic instrument voices including 12 drum/SFX kits and 150 accompaniment styles. 88 weighted, graded hammer-action keys make for natural, expressive playing. A music database hold 267 song records for instantly setting the entire instrument to a specific genre.

The USB to HOST terminal provides simple computer connectivity, while the USB to DEVICE jack provides convenient memory stick storage and playing standard MIDI data. 16-part multitimbral capability for sequencer recording applications and comprehensive recording functions that allow you to craft your own songs with ease make the YPG-625 your perfect musical partner. Includes stand.

Order the Yamaha Survival Kit 88 to add a three-year extended warranty, Watch & Learn DVD, grand piano key cover, stereo headphones, bonus coupons, and a Yamaha Survival Kit DVD-ROM to your YPG-625.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Guitar Center: Midnight Madness Free For All

Guitar Center's Midnight Madness


Midnight Madness: Sat. June 30th

This Saturday, get in to the Guitar Center store nearest you and save during the Midnight Madness Free For All!

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Guitar Center's Midnight Madness Free For All ends Saturday at midnight. Don't miss it!

Saturday, June 30, 2007 · 10am to Midnight

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

GuitarCenter.com One Year Celebration

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We’re having our GuitarCenter.com One Year Celebration Wednesday, June 27, 2007!

To kick it off, we’re offering you FREE SHIPPING on June 27, 2007, for online purchases over $29* (some restrictions apply). In addition, we’re giving away $25 gift cards every hour for 24 hours on June 27, 2007. So when you make an online purchase on that day, you are automatically entered to win one of the 24 hourly drawings (based on time of online purchase).

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hands-On Product Review: Yamaha YDP-213 Digital Piano

Hands-On Product Review: Yamaha YDP-213 Digital Piano
Digital skin, acoustic soul
By William Land
Yamaha YDP-213 Digital Piano

It’s an age-old dilemma. You want something. Unfortunately that something you want does not fit within your budget or the physical confines of your life. When you were young, it was a pony or a motocross bike or a full Marshall stack for your garage band. Man, you were an active kid. Now that you’re older, it’s an Olympic-size swimming pool or a Harley or perhaps a full-size grand piano for the family room. I won’t be able to help you with the swimming pool or the motorcycle today, but for those who’ve been pining for their own piano, you’re in the right spot.

The Yamaha YDP-213 Digital Piano is made for those musicians who want full grand piano sound and feel, but don’t have the space or budget for one. It delivers superb piano sound and play in a compact package stylish enough to fit into any decor. With its premium tones, convincing acoustic-like touch, and walnut-finished cabinet with sliding key cover, it’s an affordable part of Yamaha’s legacy of piano excellence.
Acoustic origins

Yamaha’s legacy of creating exceptional pianos goes back over 100 years to the time the company first began crafting grand pianos in its Japan workshop. They worked hard to master the art of piano building and it has paid off. Some of the most renowned grands in the world bear the Yamaha name. And whether the piano is digital or acoustic, the same quality and care goes into them. So you get the full advantage of a century of expertise and craftsmanship with the YDP-213.

It all starts with the sound, and that’s where Yamaha’s engineers begin. They take one of Yamaha’s grand pianos and sample every note at various velocities and different levels of sustain using state-of-the-art recording equipment to perfectly capture the sound. Those sounds are then carefully converted to digital form and stored in the Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) sound engine, the heart of the YDP-213. But the AWM engine does more than simply play back recorded sounds. Its innovative technology responds to your touch and playing dynamics to give you responsive, inherently musical tones that inspire you.

The most-used sound on any digital piano is the grand piano. The YDP-213 gives you a choice of two grand sounds—Grand 1 and Grand 2—and both of them have recently been updated. Yamaha accurately captured the rich, musical voice of one of their full-size concert grands with special techniques that deliver a strong, clear sound. So when you play you hear the same rich sound concert pianists from Carnegie Hall to Davies Symphony Hall hear.
Yamaha YDP-213 Digital Piano
Yamaha YDP-213 Digital Piano
Touch and feel

The sound isn’t the only thing about the YDP-213 that’s convincingly true to the original. The feel of the keys is also topnotch. The keyboard uses Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard mechanism to provide expressive touch sensitivity and weight the keys like an acoustic grand. The GHS keys have a heavier feel in the lower register and gradually become lighter as you play up into higher notes. The touch can also be adjusted to the preference of the individual player. Those who have a heavier attack will likely favor the Hard setting while beginners and other light players will appreciate the easy feel of the Soft setting. No matter which setting you use, the touch is as natural as the real thing.
Easy to own

Just like Yamaha’s standard acoustic grand pianos, the YDP-213 also has a sliding key cover; music stand; and damper, soft, and sostenuto pedals. The top of the console features a lustrous walnut finish while the ends are a satin black. Together the combination is attractive and classy. The entire full-size cabinet is lightweight too, so you can move it without enlisting a piano service or your friends and neighbors. Speaking of neighbors, you’ll never have to worry about making yours angry while you’re practicing. The YDP-213 has a volume control for the integrated stereo speaker system and it also provides two headphone jacks—one for you and one for a friend or instructor—so you can plug in and play silently.

Another big benefit of the YDP-213 is there’s no upkeep involved. With an acoustic piano, especially a full-size grand, you constantly have to pay attention to environmental issues. Rapidly fluctuating temperatures and changing relative humidity can cause damage to the soundboard and cabinet. You’ll also never have to restring or tune the AWM sound engine like a standard piano. Its elegant and authentic sound will never go sharp, flat, or fade. The AWM engine supplies more than just piano sounds too. For a change of pace you can use the electric piano, harpsichord, church organ, or strings sounds. You also get reverb and chorus effects to add to the ambience of your performance. Other performance enhancing features include a metronome, song recorder, MIDI I/O, and 50 preset piano songs with sheet music to help you learn.

If you took the sound, feel, and soul of one of Yamaha’s famed acoustic grand pianos and shrunk it to bedroom-friendly dimensions, the result would be the YDP-213 Digital Piano. If you’re just starting out on piano or need a piano for your home but are short on space, buy the YDP-213 and be confident you’re not compromising.
Specs & Features:

* 88-key graded hammer-action keyboard
* 64-note polyphony
* AWM stereo-sample sound engine
* 30 sampling banks
* 2 updated Grand Piano voices
* 6 total voices
* 2 - 6W amplifiers
* 2 - 4-3/4" speakers
* Walnut cabinet finish
* Sliding key cover
* Reverb and chorus effects
* 11,000-note song recording capacity
* Sustain, soft, and sostenuto pedals
* Metronome
* MIDI in/out
* 2 headphone jacks
* 6 voice demo songs
* 50 preset piano songs with included sheet music
* 81 lbs., 8 oz.
* 53-5/8"W x 32-1/4"H x 16-5/8"D
* Bench included

YAMAHA YDP-323

YAMAHA YDP-323
Authentic sounds and elegant looks
By Park James

Yamaha YDP 323

Yamaha was among the first to create an authentic-sounding digital grand piano back in the '70s - deemed good enough to tour with by jazz great Herbie Hancock. Since then Yamaha has had many years to refine their tone generation technology. The new YDP-323 digital piano uses AVM (Advanced Wave Memory) voices made from digital recordings of high-end instruments, meaning the sound is not synthesized - it's the real thing. These realistic sounds are housed in a cabinet that makes a beautiful addition to any home, yet is so easy to transport that pros will also find it attractive.
Real feel

The sound is only part of the story when it comes to playing a musical instrument - it's also about feel and touch. Yamaha has been crafting very highly regarded upright and grand pianos for over a century, so they know what a piano is supposed to feel like.

YDP-323's 88-key graded hammer action uses graduated weighted keys (unlike other keyboards that may use springs or dampers) to replicate the action of a grand piano, which has thicker hammers in the bass end and lighter hammers toward the treble end. This translates to a heavier feel in the lower octaves and a lighter touch in the higher, and the YDP-323 re-creates this dynamic range very accurately.

Three levels of touch sensitivity (hard, medium, or soft) let you customize the touch response of the keyboard for different players or instruments. You can turn off the touch sensitivity when a fixed response is desired, as in playing the organ or harpsichord voices.

Part of the authentic experience of playing an acoustic piano comes from the use of the damper, soft, and sostenuto pedals. The YDP-323 includes these three essential pedals for bringing out all the nuance and expression of your performances.
Piano plus

The YDP-323 not only makes you feel like you're playing the real thing, but it also offers a lot of advantages a real piano does not. You get two extraordinary grand piano sounds to choose from: a full concert grand perfect for classical and a spacious, bright piano with a touch of reverb that is perfect for popular styles. Eight additional voices include electric piano, strings, two harpsichords, vibraphone, and two church organs.

A dual mode lets you layer voices for rich, complex sounds. You'll be amazed when you hear a string section lend depth and color to your latest piano composition. You can even layer the piano/strings voice with another of your choice for a total of three sounds on the keyboard at one time. The effects section lets you enhance the sound in various ways. Digital reverb adds a breathtaking spaciousness, with settings that emulate two different hall sizes, a medium-sized room, or onstage ambience. Chorus gives electric piano settings warmth and richness of tone.
Keyboard Harmony

Musicians with many levels of experience and expertise will get a lot of use out of the included creative tools and connectivity. The keyboard's MIDI jacks give you the capability to save songs, record to your computer, and print out your composition in notation with the appropriate software. You can send your songs to your friends and family and archive them as you would digital photos or MP3 songs.

The single-track recorder built into the YDP-323 is intuitive, easy to use, and great for analyzing and critiquing your performances. It's also a lot of fun to use and encourages creativity in users of any age. A built-in metronome keeps you right on time when recording or practicing. 64-note polyphony (the number of notes that can sound simultaneously) means you won't run out of notes, even in complex, sustained musical passages.

The YDP-323 comes with 50 demonstration songs and includes sheet music for each one so you can follow or play along.
The gift of music





The YDP-323 is an ideal keyboard to bring into your home if you have kids. The varied sounds, recording capability, and computer connectivity are sure to keep younger players engaged while the simple control interface never seems overwhelming. The 88-key weighted action develops strength in the fingers so that when your children perform on an acoustic piano they'll feel right at home.

The built-in speaker system delivers full, richly satisfying sound quality. Dual headphone jacks let you play anytime without disturbing others, yet share your music with someone special if you want. This is a great feature for music teachers and students. A convenient headphone clip under the keyboard keeps your headphones neatly stowed away when they're not in use.

Those who have had an acoustic piano in the home know the importance of having it tuned and adjusted periodically. This is not necessary with the YDP-323: it stays perfectly in tune so you don't ever have to be concerned with adjustments of any kind.
Sound and vision

The YDP-323 is beautiful to behold with its gleaming walnut-finish woodgrain cabinet - it looks like a fine musical instrument, not like a hi-tech machine. The 10 voices are excellent, and if you want more you can always expand the palette with a MIDI sound module.

Yamaha's newest electronic wizardry, combined with the realistic feel of 88 weighted keys in an instrument that has the look of fine furniture, will undoubtedly make the YDP-323 a big hit in living rooms everywhere.
Features & Specs:

* Graded hammer action keyboard
* Tone generation
* 64-note polyphony
* AWM piano voices with stereo sampling
* 10 voices
* Dual voice capability
* 3 pedals
* Metronome
* 20W x 2 speakers system
* Walnut-finish cabinet
* Sliding key cover
* Headphone hanger
* Bench included
* Reverb
* Chorus
* Song recorder
* MIDI In/Out/Thru
* 2 headphone jacks
* Demo songs
* 10 voice demo
* 50 preset songs
* Sheet music book
* 53-5/8"W x 32-3/8"H x 16-5/8"D
* 90 lbs.

Hands-On Product Review: Yamaha YPG Portable Grand Keyboards

Hands-On Product Review: Yamaha YPG Portable Grand Keyboards
Powerful portables with enhanced piano focus
By Gerard Manley
Yamaha YPG Portable Grand Keyboards

The new YPG Series keyboards add yet another dimension to Yamaha’s amazing portable keyboards, expanding them beyond the extensive and impressive PSR Series boards. The PSR keyboards are made for rock stars in training and are suspiciously low in price, but they deliver the real goods and perform way beyond their prices. You might say the Yamaha affordable portables are blessed from above—there’s a lot of Yamaha’s good stuff in them.
Enter the YPG Series

YPG stands for Yamaha Portable Grand which is a bit of an oxymoron. It might even seem overly grandiose if it weren’t Yamaha’s own designation and actually does describe what the YPGs are about. The YPG boards are an offshoot of the PSR series and share many features with the upper-end PSR instruments. What makes them different is an emphasis on "piano-ness." They are portables that draw features from Yamaha’s digital pianos and digital grands to make them more piano-like in size, sound, and feel.

There are three YPG models: the YPG-225, YPG-525, and YPG-625. All are piano-centric in feel, sound, and function. They are attractively designed to be living-room friendly. The YPG-625 boasts wood panels making it even more suitable as a home piano. Its styling, along with its piano-like keyboard and action, makes the YPG-625 a real alternative to an acoustic piano—it’s akin to a full-tilt digital piano but without the heftier price.
Yamaha YPG-625 88-Key Weighted Portable Grand Keyboard, YPG-225 76-Key Portable Grand Keyboard And, YPG-525 88-Key Portable Grand Keyboard
Yamaha YPG-625 88-Key Weighted Portable Grand Keyboard, YPG-225 76-Key Portable Grand Keyboard, And YPG-525 88-Key Portable Grand Keyboard

Grandizing the portable

Portable keyboards have always been more synth than piano, with short keyboards with smaller, hollow keys and soft action. They play differently than a piano and require a different technique, so moving from one to the other can be difficult. The first thing Yamaha addressed was the keys. To make the YPG more piano-like, it made the keys standard piano size and shape, and solved the short keyboard problem by making it longer. The YPG-225 has 76 keys, an octave more than a portable’s customary 61 keys. The YPG-525 and 625 have the full 88.

Playing feel is even more critical. Portables have always had hollow key feel and soft synth-type action. Two of the YPGs are the first portables, at least in this price range, to feature weighted action. The YPG-225 has a synth-type action, but its 76 piano-style keys make it easier to move to an acoustic. The YPG-525 is lightly weighted and a big improvement over synth action, enough that piano technique is possible. The YPG-625 takes it a step further. It has fully weighted keys and graded hammer action–a real piano feel on a par with Yamaha’s higher-end digital pianos.

What really makes the two 88s worthy of the "portable grand" designation is the quality of the grand piano sound. Yamaha has created high-definition stereo samples for its higher-end keyboards, and the YPG-525 and YPG-625 have been recipients of this technology. This grand piano sound has to be the richest and most realistic ever found in a portable keyboard in this price range.

The quality of the samples in each of the three models is supported by a two-way, full-range, true stereo speaker system. It provides excellent sound and is fully able to produce the tonal subtlety and dynamic expressiveness of the samples.
Synthesizing the grand

In addition to their piano-like attributes, the YPG models are powerful synthesizers with a host of features and capabilities. Their basic strengths include 32-note polyphony, 16-voice multitimbral capability, split keyboard and dual voice, and extensive sound sets (over 400 voices in the 225 and 500 in the other two). All contain selections from Yamaha’s realistic Sweet! and Cool! Voices, 12 drum and SFX kits, and all have onboard DSP effects. In addition, the 88s feature Live! Voices (two Live! Grand Piano samples and one Live! Orchestra).

But the YPGs go way beyond strong basics. All three include Yamaha’s acclaimed Education Suite, a group of interactive programs that assist you in learning to play. They also have auto-accompaniment so you don’t have to play alone. Easy Song arranger is another cool function. It allows you to change the musical style of your backup band on MIDI files. For critical performances, Performance Assistant corrects your wrong notes as you play them. There are also 100 songs to learn and the YPG-525/625 display the music and words onscreen.

The YPG models add yet another big capability, a six-track sequencer that allows you to make multitrack recordings. With this feature, the YPG becomes an easy-to-use workstation—a creative tool on which you can record arrangements of your own songs. Songs can be stored internally on all three models and/or saved to optional USB devices (like memory sticks) on the YPG-525/625.

The YPG Portable Grands offer a solution for those who want a portable with a more piano-like playing feel, or for those seeking a more affordable alternative to a digital grand or a real piano. The YPGs can serve in the living room or go to the gig. They offer all the sounds and functions of a powerful synth. The YPGs give you a lot to like for an affordable price.
Features & Specs:

* 76-key (YPG-225)
* 88-key lightly-weighted action (YPG-525)
* 88-key fully weighted with Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) action (YPG-625)
* Standard piano-size and shape keys
* Matching wooden stand included on YPG-525/625 (optional for YPG-225)
* XGlite sounds plus expressive Cool! and Sweet! Voices (all 3 models) and Live! Voices (YPG-525/625 only)
* 8 digital effects, brilliance, pedal effects, and DSP
* Stereo-sampled grand piano voice (all 3); High resolution sample on YPG-525/625 only
* 12 drum/SFX kits
* 150 accompaniment styles plus user styles
* Music database with 267 songs
* USB/MIDI; USB storage support on YPG-525/625
* 6-track sequencer
* 16-part multitimbral capability
* 32-note polyphony
* Easy Song Arranger
* Performance Assistant
* Score and lyric display onscreen on YPG-525/625 only

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Hands-On Review: Korg M3 Workstation Synth/Sampler Keyboard

Hands-On Review: Korg M3 Workstation Synth/Sampler Keyboard
Re-Mventing the workstation
By Dave Allen

Korg M3 Workstation

Korg defined the concept of the all-in-one workstation when they introduced the M1 back in the late 80’s, and have been refining it over the years with some of the most popular keyboards of all time, including the Trinity and TRITON. Now the latest edition is here: the Korg M3. It may be part of a legendary bloodline, but it’s the fresh genes running in its DNA that will get most musicians’ interest. The M3 has inherited features from the high-end OASYS and Karma workstations that take it an evolutionary leap beyond the competition.
First Mpressions

The 61-key M3 I received for this review looked modern and hip in its sleek aluminum chassis with wood accented end caps. It also has a very unique modular setup with the sound engine and controls in a separate chassis that mounts onto the back of the frame of the key bed. There are also 73-key and 88-key models, with the 88 featuring hammer action. With the modular setup, the larger models allow you to use additional Korg synth modules. With the 73-key version, you can have an M3 and a RADIAS on the same frame. The 88-key frame can host two M3 modules. The module also comes as a tabletop design by itself and includes the whole M3 system—synthesis, sampling, sequencing, and all.
Korg M3 Workstation and Synth Module
The Korg M3’s modular design allows you to add additional Korg synth modules and the M3 is also available as a standalone tabletop synth.

If you’re like me the first question you have is, “Is this just another extension of the TRITON, or is it really new?” Let me clear that up—this is a significant step up from the TRITON in fidelity, sounds, and capabilities. The M3 inherits a lot from the OASYS, although it is a chip-based instrument, as compared to the Pentium-powered, open architecture design of that uber-flagship model. But the M3’s engine—which Korg calls EDS (Enhanced Definition Synthesis)—is similar to the OASYS’ HD-1. Each oscillator can play back stereo waveforms, with four-way velocity switching and crossfading, a big step up from the TRITON. All new filters, more detailed envelope generators, advanced modulation mixers, and much more signify this is a serious synth for programming. Of course, it has sounds to inspire you and make you want to work too.
Mtense sounds

The first acoustic piano program on the M3 is a four-way switched version of the Steinway from the OASYS and it was a pleasure to play—I’d gladly use this piano live and for tracking in the most critical applications. A number of the other acoustic sounds were just as impressive; the guitars had extra sampled effects like finger slides and fret buzz that made them sound realistic. The various drum and percussion voices also stood out, with natural-sounding velocity switching for the snares. The organ sounds were outstanding. My favorites were JazzPerc Org (A008)—a smoky and warm Hammond that just reeked of jazz club attitude—and Rock Perc (B104)—an overdriven sound that could stand up to the loudest wall of guitar amps.
Mspiring performance

Every program in the M3 also has a drum track: a drum groove preprogrammed to match each sound in feel and sonics. Call up a program, turn on the drum track and you’ve got a great beat to play along with. While it may not be innovative, it’s inspirational and fun. There are over 500 drum patterns with many played by live musicians, but I found it a snap to sequence my own little groove, save it as a pattern, and assign it to a sound. I was even able to import a favorite sample loop from an Akai CD, create a trigger for it, and use it. Sweet!

Combination mode is another area where Korg always shines. These automatic setups give you multiple sounds layered or split to make functional performances like left-hand bass splits, right-hand leads with left-hand comping, and complex splits and layers that give you an expressive orchestral ensemble or modern remix groove under your fingertips. The M3 ups the ante with up to 16 parts per Combi—double that of previous Korg workstations. When you call up a Combi, you have great sounds and effects programmed, and when combined with a drum track and KARMA, it’s easy to spend hours just jamming along with one sound.
Korg M3 Workstation
Its large color touch screen offers full control of the M3’s power including some unique effect controls derived from the KAOSS PAD.
Mstant KARMA

KARMA is the cool phrase-generating technology Korg introduced in the Karma Music Workstation and further developed in the OASYS. The M3 has the complete OASYS-based version of the technology. There are thousands of KARMA phrases covering everything from drum grooves, bass lines, and guitar strumming and finger-picking to totally outrageous chopping effects and arpeggiators. What makes KARMA arps different is their capacity for real time customization using the onboard sliders and switches. It makes it super easy to add musical patterns to your sounds and ideas without relying on stock arpeggios. It’s a little hard to explain but the instant you try it you’ll see how cool KARMA is.

The M3 has some other tricks up its sleeve, and one of the most addicting is that you can use its color touchscreen as a KAOSS PAD to control effects and other aspects of the sound by moving your finger around on it. And when you do, the screen changes colors—it’s trippy and way cool! The key bed has a fantastic new action with a fast response that also feels really solid and slightly weighted. But the standout aspect was the aftertouch. It was extremely easy to control and add expression. I walked away from my few days with this monster synth totally excited and completely convinced. This is THE synth workstation on my wish list, and should be turning players’ ears for years to come.
Features & Specs

* 61-key semi-weighted synth action
* Joystick and ribbon controllers
* 5.7" color TouchView™ screen with X–Y control function
* EDS (Enhanced Definition Synthesis) engine (derived from OASYS HD-1)
* 256MB ROM
* 120-voice polyphony
* 512 Programs
* 384 Combinations
* 32 Drum kits
* 522 Drum patterns
* Full KARMA version 2 implementation
* 16-track sequencer
* Realtime Pattern Play/Recording performance sequencing
* 16-bit, linear, 48kHz mono/stereo sampling
* Resampling available (Open Sampling System)
* 8 assignable sliders
* 8 assignable switches
* 8 velocity-sensitive drum pads/chord triggers
* Optional EXB-RADIAS synth module
* Plug-in editor/librarian software included
* Visit us online for all the specs

Thursday, June 21, 2007

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Keyboard & MIDI Top Sellers

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

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Friday, June 15, 2007

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

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$3,199.99
MSRP: $3999.00 Save: $799.01


The Yamaha MOTIF XS8 is a powerhouse 88-key balanced hammer action workstation with 355MB of wave ROM to inspire your creativity and performance recording. The digital piano keyboard has four intelligent arpeggiators and over 6000 phrases to instantly capture your musical ideas. The integrated sampling sequencer can be expanded up to 1GB of memory for creating complete MIDI/audio productions. Studio style mixing and VCM effects from the Yamaha DM2000 let you master your music right on board. Firewire and Ethernet computer connectivity and a special Yamaha version of Steinberg software- Cubase AI expand your possibilities. With the large color LCD and 8 knobs and sliders for hands on control, making great sounding music has never been easier.

High-Quality Sounds to Spark Creativity
The MOTIF XS provides an exceptionally broad selections of realistic sounds to spark your creativity thanks to a massive 355MB of high-quality onboard waveforms and samples. A single voice can have up to eight separate sound elements, enabling composite sounds of remarkable complexity and nuance. Among the standout voices is a resonant, meticulously recorded concert grand piano sound that is practically worth the price of admission by itself. New acoustic piano, electric piano and orchestral samples - not to mention the richly textured and distinctly electronic synthesizer waves - give you the sonic tools to fully realize virtually any style of music and any instrumentation.

The Expanded Articulation (XA) tone generation system allows the eight available elements to more effectively recreate realistic sounds and natural performance techniques such as legato, staccato and key release sounds. The elements are common to acoustic instruments but have always been difficult to realize on electronic keyboards. XA also allows you to assign elements to on/off panel switches and change sounds within a voice in real time.

Intuitive Interface
Despite all of the advanced technology and wealth of features packed tightly into the instrument, the MOTIF XS keyboard is exceptionally intuitive and easy-to-use. It gives you a large, full-dot color LCD that lets you see multiple parameters at a glance and has clear, high-resolution graphics with virtual sliders, knobs and more.

The main panel on the MOTIF XS provides an amazing level of control and flexibility. Eight knobs and eight sliders let you instantly tweak a variety of parameters and effects as you play. The eight knobs are especially versatile, letting you use the knobs to independently control eight different parameters (out of 24 selectable parameters,) or use them to control a certain effect setting for up to eight different parts. The knobs can also be used to change the rhythmic feel and other settings of arpeggios and patterns while they play back. Two assignable function buttons give you added control over the sound of the Expanded Articulation Voices, letting you change sounds within a voice in real time.

Other convenient operation features include the improved category search function, which is now organized with dual categories that help you find the voice you want. Calling up the guitar category for instance gives you access to the dual subcategories such as: Acoustic, Electric Clean and Electric Distortion. The mega arpeggio voices also have their own dual category for easy selection of those unique voices.

Computer and Software Integration
A full-featured music production synthesizer in every way, the MOTIF XS comes equipped with a variety of connectors and interfaces for virtually any application and any studio environment. This includes assignable outputs, A/D inputs, S/PDIF digital output, MIDI, ethernet, and mLAN. The comprehensive set of connectors makes interfacing with computers and your favorite software exceptionally easy.

The MOTIF XS is designed to work seamlessly and transparently in your computer-based environment. The remote control mode lets you control your DAW software right from the panel of the MOTIF XS. For example, starting and stopping playback/recording can be done with the special transport buttons and changing track levels and parameters is a cinch with the sliders and knobs.

Guitar Center: Drive Away A Fully-Loaded Tour Van For Your Band - Enter Now

GuitarCenter.com


In A Band? Win A Van!
Guitar Center and TuneCore are giving your band a chance to cruise in style with a new set of wheels! Enter during June and you could pick up:
· A brand new 8-passenger fully-loaded tour van
· A $500 gas card and $5000 cash
· An Apple Macbook laptop and a year of Internet access
· Tell us why your band rules and why you need a van — log on and enter today.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

YAMAHA YDP-323

YAMAHA YDP-323
Authentic sounds and elegant looks
By Park James

Yamaha YDP 323

Yamaha was among the first to create an authentic-sounding digital grand piano back in the '70s - deemed good enough to tour with by jazz great Herbie Hancock. Since then Yamaha has had many years to refine their tone generation technology. The new YDP-323 digital piano uses AVM (Advanced Wave Memory) voices made from digital recordings of high-end instruments, meaning the sound is not synthesized - it's the real thing. These realistic sounds are housed in a cabinet that makes a beautiful addition to any home, yet is so easy to transport that pros will also find it attractive.
Real feel

The sound is only part of the story when it comes to playing a musical instrument - it's also about feel and touch. Yamaha has been crafting very highly regarded upright and grand pianos for over a century, so they know what a piano is supposed to feel like.

YDP-323's 88-key graded hammer action uses graduated weighted keys (unlike other keyboards that may use springs or dampers) to replicate the action of a grand piano, which has thicker hammers in the bass end and lighter hammers toward the treble end. This translates to a heavier feel in the lower octaves and a lighter touch in the higher, and the YDP-323 re-creates this dynamic range very accurately.

Three levels of touch sensitivity (hard, medium, or soft) let you customize the touch response of the keyboard for different players or instruments. You can turn off the touch sensitivity when a fixed response is desired, as in playing the organ or harpsichord voices.

Part of the authentic experience of playing an acoustic piano comes from the use of the damper, soft, and sostenuto pedals. The YDP-323 includes these three essential pedals for bringing out all the nuance and expression of your performances.
Piano plus

The YDP-323 not only makes you feel like you're playing the real thing, but it also offers a lot of advantages a real piano does not. You get two extraordinary grand piano sounds to choose from: a full concert grand perfect for classical and a spacious, bright piano with a touch of reverb that is perfect for popular styles. Eight additional voices include electric piano, strings, two harpsichords, vibraphone, and two church organs.

A dual mode lets you layer voices for rich, complex sounds. You'll be amazed when you hear a string section lend depth and color to your latest piano composition. You can even layer the piano/strings voice with another of your choice for a total of three sounds on the keyboard at one time. The effects section lets you enhance the sound in various ways. Digital reverb adds a breathtaking spaciousness, with settings that emulate two different hall sizes, a medium-sized room, or onstage ambience. Chorus gives electric piano settings warmth and richness of tone.
Keyboard Harmony

Musicians with many levels of experience and expertise will get a lot of use out of the included creative tools and connectivity. The keyboard's MIDI jacks give you the capability to save songs, record to your computer, and print out your composition in notation with the appropriate software. You can send your songs to your friends and family and archive them as you would digital photos or MP3 songs.

The single-track recorder built into the YDP-323 is intuitive, easy to use, and great for analyzing and critiquing your performances. It's also a lot of fun to use and encourages creativity in users of any age. A built-in metronome keeps you right on time when recording or practicing. 64-note polyphony (the number of notes that can sound simultaneously) means you won't run out of notes, even in complex, sustained musical passages.

The YDP-323 comes with 50 demonstration songs and includes sheet music for each one so you can follow or play along.
The gift of music

The YDP-323 is an ideal keyboard to bring into your home if you have kids. The varied sounds, recording capability, and computer connectivity are sure to keep younger players engaged while the simple control interface never seems overwhelming. The 88-key weighted action develops strength in the fingers so that when your children perform on an acoustic piano they'll feel right at home.

The built-in speaker system delivers full, richly satisfying sound quality. Dual headphone jacks let you play anytime without disturbing others, yet share your music with someone special if you want. This is a great feature for music teachers and students. A convenient headphone clip under the keyboard keeps your headphones neatly stowed away when they're not in use.

Those who have had an acoustic piano in the home know the importance of having it tuned and adjusted periodically. This is not necessary with the YDP-323: it stays perfectly in tune so you don't ever have to be concerned with adjustments of any kind.
Sound and vision

The YDP-323 is beautiful to behold with its gleaming walnut-finish woodgrain cabinet - it looks like a fine musical instrument, not like a hi-tech machine. The 10 voices are excellent, and if you want more you can always expand the palette with a MIDI sound module.

Yamaha's newest electronic wizardry, combined with the realistic feel of 88 weighted keys in an instrument that has the look of fine furniture, will undoubtedly make the YDP-323 a big hit in living rooms everywhere.
Features & Specs:

* Graded hammer action keyboard
* Tone generation
* 64-note polyphony
* AWM piano voices with stereo sampling
* 10 voices
* Dual voice capability
* 3 pedals
* Metronome
* 20W x 2 speakers system
* Walnut-finish cabinet
* Sliding key cover
* Headphone hanger
* Bench included
* Reverb
* Chorus
* Song recorder
* MIDI In/Out/Thru
* 2 headphone jacks
* Demo songs
* 10 voice demo
* 50 preset songs
* Sheet music book
* 53-5/8"W x 32-3/8"H x 16-5/8"D
* 90 lbs.

Hands-On Product Review: Yamaha YPG Portable Grand Keyboards

Hands-On Product Review: Yamaha YPG Portable Grand Keyboards
Powerful portables with enhanced piano focus
By Gerard Manley
Yamaha YPG Portable Grand Keyboards

The new YPG Series keyboards add yet another dimension to Yamaha’s amazing portable keyboards, expanding them beyond the extensive and impressive PSR Series boards. The PSR keyboards are made for rock stars in training and are suspiciously low in price, but they deliver the real goods and perform way beyond their prices. You might say the Yamaha affordable portables are blessed from above—there’s a lot of Yamaha’s good stuff in them.
Enter the YPG Series

YPG stands for Yamaha Portable Grand which is a bit of an oxymoron. It might even seem overly grandiose if it weren’t Yamaha’s own designation and actually does describe what the YPGs are about. The YPG boards are an offshoot of the PSR series and share many features with the upper-end PSR instruments. What makes them different is an emphasis on "piano-ness." They are portables that draw features from Yamaha’s digital pianos and digital grands to make them more piano-like in size, sound, and feel.

There are three YPG models: the YPG-225, YPG-525, and YPG-625. All are piano-centric in feel, sound, and function. They are attractively designed to be living-room friendly. The YPG-625 boasts wood panels making it even more suitable as a home piano. Its styling, along with its piano-like keyboard and action, makes the YPG-625 a real alternative to an acoustic piano—it’s akin to a full-tilt digital piano but without the heftier price.


Grandizing the portable

Portable keyboards have always been more synth than piano, with short keyboards with smaller, hollow keys and soft action. They play differently than a piano and require a different technique, so moving from one to the other can be difficult. The first thing Yamaha addressed was the keys. To make the YPG more piano-like, it made the keys standard piano size and shape, and solved the short keyboard problem by making it longer. The YPG-225 has 76 keys, an octave more than a portable’s customary 61 keys. The YPG-525 and 625 have the full 88.

Playing feel is even more critical. Portables have always had hollow key feel and soft synth-type action. Two of the YPGs are the first portables, at least in this price range, to feature weighted action. The YPG-225 has a synth-type action, but its 76 piano-style keys make it easier to move to an acoustic. The YPG-525 is lightly weighted and a big improvement over synth action, enough that piano technique is possible. The YPG-625 takes it a step further. It has fully weighted keys and graded hammer action–a real piano feel on a par with Yamaha’s higher-end digital pianos.

What really makes the two 88s worthy of the "portable grand" designation is the quality of the grand piano sound. Yamaha has created high-definition stereo samples for its higher-end keyboards, and the YPG-525 and YPG-625 have been recipients of this technology. This grand piano sound has to be the richest and most realistic ever found in a portable keyboard in this price range.

The quality of the samples in each of the three models is supported by a two-way, full-range, true stereo speaker system. It provides excellent sound and is fully able to produce the tonal subtlety and dynamic expressiveness of the samples.
Synthesizing the grand

In addition to their piano-like attributes, the YPG models are powerful synthesizers with a host of features and capabilities. Their basic strengths include 32-note polyphony, 16-voice multitimbral capability, split keyboard and dual voice, and extensive sound sets (over 400 voices in the 225 and 500 in the other two). All contain selections from Yamaha’s realistic Sweet! and Cool! Voices, 12 drum and SFX kits, and all have onboard DSP effects. In addition, the 88s feature Live! Voices (two Live! Grand Piano samples and one Live! Orchestra).

But the YPGs go way beyond strong basics. All three include Yamaha’s acclaimed Education Suite, a group of interactive programs that assist you in learning to play. They also have auto-accompaniment so you don’t have to play alone. Easy Song arranger is another cool function. It allows you to change the musical style of your backup band on MIDI files. For critical performances, Performance Assistant corrects your wrong notes as you play them. There are also 100 songs to learn and the YPG-525/625 display the music and words onscreen.

The YPG models add yet another big capability, a six-track sequencer that allows you to make multitrack recordings. With this feature, the YPG becomes an easy-to-use workstation—a creative tool on which you can record arrangements of your own songs. Songs can be stored internally on all three models and/or saved to optional USB devices (like memory sticks) on the YPG-525/625.

The YPG Portable Grands offer a solution for those who want a portable with a more piano-like playing feel, or for those seeking a more affordable alternative to a digital grand or a real piano. The YPGs can serve in the living room or go to the gig. They offer all the sounds and functions of a powerful synth. The YPGs give you a lot to like for an affordable price.
Features & Specs:

* 76-key (YPG-225)
* 88-key lightly-weighted action (YPG-525)
* 88-key fully weighted with Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) action (YPG-625)
* Standard piano-size and shape keys
* Matching wooden stand included on YPG-525/625 (optional for YPG-225)
* XGlite sounds plus expressive Cool! and Sweet! Voices (all 3 models) and Live! Voices (YPG-525/625 only)
* 8 digital effects, brilliance, pedal effects, and DSP
* Stereo-sampled grand piano voice (all 3); High resolution sample on YPG-525/625 only
* 12 drum/SFX kits
* 150 accompaniment styles plus user styles
* Music database with 267 songs
* USB/MIDI; USB storage support on YPG-525/625
* 6-track sequencer
* 16-part multitimbral capability
* 32-note polyphony
* Easy Song Arranger
* Performance Assistant
* Score and lyric display onscreen on YPG-525/625 only

Musician's Friend Stupid Deal of the Day!



Musician's Friend Stupid Deal of the Day!


Today's Stupid Price
$49.99
Reg $99.99

Limited to stock on hand


Casio CTK710 61-Note Keyboard Refurb
The Casio CTK-710 Keyboard Refurb gives you a huge amount of keyboard for a dim-witted little price! It includes a lesson system and lots of sounds to make learning to play easy and fun. You can select up to 242 tones that include orchestral sounds, synthesized sounds, and more. There are 100 versatile rhythms to help add plenty of life to all your keyboard performances. The Auto Accompaniment function allows you to simply play a chord and the keyboard then provides the corresponding rhythm, bass, and chord parts that play automatically. More info...

Friday, June 08, 2007

Play Live At The Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival

The Best Gear and the Best Deals - GuitarCenter.com


Attention Unsigned Bands!
Is your band interested in playing live at the 2007 Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival?

If so, sign up now for your chance to perform at the Crossroads Festival on July 28th, 2007 in Chicago, IL!

Additional Prizes
All bands who sign up will also have the opportunity to win:

1) A Music Man guitar and a Music Man bass of your choice
2) A year's supply of Ernie Ball Strings
3) All expense paid trip to Crossroads Music Festival

Appearing Live at Crossroads
Jeff Beck, Doyle Bramhall II, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Buddy Guy, BB King, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Sonny Landreth, Albert Lee, Los Lobos, John Mayer, John McLaughlin, Willie Nelson, Robert Randolph, Hubert Sumlin, Derek Trucks, Jimmie Vaughan, and Steve Winwood! (Artist lineup subject to change.)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

GuitarCenter.com

The Best Gear and the Best Deals - GuitarCenter.com


WILLIAMS ENCORE PIANO
» Williams Encore Digital Piano with Free Stand & Bench – GC Price $399.99

Keyboard Mega Clearance

Keyboard Gear



Hammond XK-3 Drawbar Keyboard
Our Price: $2,199.99
List Price:


Kurzweil KME-61 Synthesizer
Our Price: $449.00
List Price: $849.00


Roland Fantom-Xa 61-Key Workstation
Our Price: $899.99
List Price: $1,699.00


Casio LK100 Keyboard Refurb
Our Price: $89.99
List Price: $229.95


Yamaha FC5 Sustain Footswitch
Our Price: $9.99
List Price: $19.99

Casio CDP100 88-Note Weighted Hammer Action Digital Piano
Price: $399.95
List: $650.00

Roland Fantom-Xa 61-Key Workstation
Price: $899.99
List: $1,699.00

Yamaha PKBB1 Keyboard Bench
Price: $19.99
List: $44.95

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

New Casio Digital Pianos - From $699

Music123

New Casio Digital Pianos - From $699

Musicians Friend Warehouse Sale


Musicians Friend Warehouse Sale

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Product Pipeline: Yamaha Debuts New Class of Digital Pianos


Product Pipeline: Yamaha Debuts New Class of Digital Pianos

(MMR Update June 1, 2007 6/1/2007)

The NP-30 Portable Grand Digital Piano represents an entirely new class of Yamaha digital piano. Designed to offer quality, value, and portability without sacrificing the playability of the key action, the NP-30 will be introduced at Summer NAMM 2007 in Austin and includes 76 Graded Soft Touch piano-style keys and AWM stereo-sampled piano voices.

Weighing only 12 pounds and operating on six AA batteries (or a power adaptor), it is the first Yamaha digital piano that can truly be played anywhere. Additional features include transpose and tuning functions, built-in stereo speaker system, and 10 quality voices, including pianos, organs, and strings.

The NP-30 offers Yamaha’s new Graded Soft Touch key action. Though the keys are lighter than the GHS (Graded Hammer Standard) and GHE (Graded Hammer Effect) actions of Yamaha’s more robust digital piano models, Graded Soft Touch provides stronger resistance in the bass side that distinctly decreases as the player moves to the keyboard’s higher notes. This facilitates faster passages with the right hand and heavier playing with the left hand, similar to the feel of an acoustic grand piano. The end result is a playing experience akin to weighted Graded Hammer actions, though less force is required to strike the keys. What’s more, the physical aspects of the Graded Soft Touch action help bring the overall weight of the NP-30 down to less than half of Yamaha’s previous lightweight champ, the P70.

“We believe that there’s a place in the market for an ultra-portable piano-focused instrument,” said Dane Madsen, marketing manager, Digital Pianos, Pro Audio & Combo Division. “Whether it’s for schools, ministries that offer outdoor services, or simply music lovers who want to be able to take a playable digital piano virtually anywhere, the NP-30 offers tremendous value.”

The NP-30 (MSRP: $399.99) is expected to ship in July.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Musician's Friend: Warehouse Moving Sale - Save Up To 86%

Musician's Friend Clearance Center



Dear Musician,

As we put the finishing touches on our brand-new, 700,000 square-foot warehouse, we’re faced with having to move our huge multimillion-dollar inventory. To drastically reduce the amount of gear we have to haul, I’ve authorized massive, across-the-board discounts in every product category.

You’ll find the lowest prices of the year on all kinds of gear including guitars, basses, keyboards, drums, pro sound, band and orchestra instruments, books and videos, plus gifts and accessories. Shop now for the best selection, help us lighten the load we've got to move, and help yourself to the biggest savings ever!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Casio PX-700 Privia Digital Piano

Keyboard Clearance




Casio PX-700 Privia Digital Piano
The Casio PX-700 Privia Digital Piano is designed to make a classy sonic and visual statement. The stereo-sampled piano sound, speaker system,...
Price: $599.99 Item Ships Free!
List Price: $1,000.00

Yamaha MOTIF ES7 76-Key Music Production Synthesizer

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Yamaha MOTIF ES7 76-Key Music Production Synthesizer
The Yamaha MOTIF ES7 76-Key Music Production Synthesizer features the largest wave ROM of any workstation keyboard: 175MB! An enhanced soundset of...
Price: $1,899.99 Item Ships Free!
List Price: $2,999.00

Roland Fantom-Xa 61-Key Workstation

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Roland Fantom-Xa 61-Key Workstation
If you crave Fantom power, but want a more cost-effective way to Fantomize your rig, Roland has the perfect synth for you. Meet the Fantom-Xa a...
Price: $899.99 Item Ships Free!
List Price: $1,699.00

Casio CDP100 88-Note Weighted Hammer Action Digital Piano

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Casio CDP100 88-Note Weighted Hammer Action Digital Piano
It all starts with the sound and feel, and thanks to the carefully sampled grand piano sound and scaled hammer action, the Casio CDP100 Digital Piano...
Price: $399.95 Item Ships Free!
List Price: $650.00