So you understand what electronic-keyboards are and want to buy one, but are not sure what the various terms like arranger keyboards, synthesizers, workstations, and midi-keyboards mean?
May be it is a good idea to understand their basic differences before you step out to look for an electronic-keyboard for yourself.
Here is an electronic keyboard review of the various types!
Table of Contents
For Varied Skills & Abilities
I would definitely agree that the range of music keyboards available in the market, and the different terms that are used to describe them can really be unnerving, especially when you are a newbie looking out for his first keyboard.
It does take time to get to the bottom of this and figure out what is the use of each of those types.
The fact that the users of digital keyboards could fall in various categories like learners, performers, arrangers & composers, the various keyboard manufacturers have a product line-up that caters to the tastes of the users in each of these categories.
As a beginner who is just starting out learning music, unless you take a conscious effort to find out the differences between the various types, it does take a few months to a couple of years to figure out why the manufacturers have so many different types of keyboards.
Another thing to note is that the word Digital is used mostly to refer to Pianos and not as much while referencing keyboards.
The Various electronic keyboard Types
Ok, now let us have a look at the various types of electronic keyboards. Each of these terms is also explained in detail within the pages on this site; click on the hyperlinks to read more.
This is your normal electronic keyboard which everybody knows about.
The term Arranger is used because of the various Rhythms / Accompaniment Patterns available in the keyboard which can be used to play along with the melody.
The various Fill-In buttons and the Intro/Ending buttons available on the keyboard mean you have all the necessary tools to perfectly arrange your melody. Read more on arranger keyboard here
Synthesizers are usually used by users who have been into music for some time and are involved with Music Production / Recording.
Also known as a Synth, it is a sound generating machine which provides you tools to alter all the parameters associated with sound so that you can produce some mind-blowing sounds.
Naturally, they are expensive than Arrangers! Read more on Keyboard Synthesizer here
This is the most powerful keyboard; it is your portable studio! You get all the tools to create a song right from scratch; it is a synthesizer, sequencer, sampler and a musical keyboard, all rolled into one.
You have tools for editing/quantizing and you can even burn your final product on a CD. An expensive product and definitely not for the beginner! Read more on Music keyboard workstation here
If you want to compose/create your own music, you can go either the hardware or the software way i.e. you can use either a music workstation to create your music or you can use software which can do the same stuff for you on a computer.
If you choose a computer to do all you music production work, you really do not need a keyboard with all those rhythms, effects, editing features, and CD burning features.
You just need a plain keyboard which can copy/send the notes that you play on to the computer. MIDI controllers are keyboards which have the capability to send your notes via MIDI.
They do not have the capability to produce any sound from within; they just inform the computer what note needs to be played/recorded and the computer generates the sounds.
You get MIDI Controllers in smaller-sizes as well; perfect for the mobile composer who just need his laptop, soundcard and MIDI controller. Just put them in a bag and carry along to the studio. Read more on MIDI Controller keyboard here
The various types mentioned above are the only types of keyboards that are available.
A MIDI keyboard is actually not another type of electronic keyboard; it only means that it supports MIDI, which is the ability to communicate to your Computer / Digital device.
All the keyboards that we have discussed above support this feature and as such they all are MIDI piano keyboards. Read more on MIDI Keyboard here
Summary – Electronic Keyboard Reviews
I hope this article provides you with all the information to understand the various types of electronic keyboards! The description provided here should help you to grasp the various jargons thrown at you, when you set out to buy a electronic keyboard.