Keyboard Expansion & Sound Libraries for Your Keyboard or Studio: Now you can easily add and use the latest sounds & loops on your keyboard / music studio.
Like any other electronic instrument, keyboards also run the risk of getting obsolete in some time.
Besides, there is so much music in the whole world that there will always be a need to use some of those sounds and at the same time share some of your music and sounds with the outside world.
These factors have forced the manufacturers to provide a variety of options to expand your instrument. Most of the data transfer methods used in computers is now being used in keyboards and Digital Pianos as well.
You must have definitely seen floppy drives on many personal keyboards. But as with computers, there is always a demand to access things faster and store files of larger sizes!
These limitations of a floppy disk have given rise to the availability of other storage media like hard disk, CD and smart cards for keyboard expansion. You may want some of these features in your keyboard so that you can enjoy it for a long time.
Keyboard Expansion: Sounds & Boards
Most Common Keyboard Expansion
Here are the two most common needs of most experienced musicians.
- Sound Expansion
Time to update your keyboard sounds? You need Keyboard sound expansion cards to access more sounds. You can add many more patches to your existing keyboard with these keyboard expansion cards.
- Upgrading the Keyboard
Other case is where you want to upgrade your keyboard altogether. It could mean adding additional hardware, add more memory, add sound-processing power, or just add audio interface capability. All these can be sone using keyboard expansion boards.
More Ways of Keyboard Expansion
You will find this on most entry-level keyboards. The manufacturers keep on introducing disks with the latest accompaniments and songs from time to time. You can buy these disks and copy the accompaniments and songs to your keyboard for your personal use.
Some advanced models have built-in hard disk, which is faster to access than a floppy disk and it can also store a large amount of data. Of course, you can always connect your keyboard to a Computer through MIDI and access its hard disc but then some of the advanced keyboard models cost you more than 3000 USD so they can definitely give you all the features available on a keyboard as well as on a computer.
You can read from Cds and burn Cds. You will find this only in advanced models.
Some models let you copy music to/from a smart card, which is another storage medium. The smart card is a very small device with large storing capacity.
Samples, also known as WAV files, are available in the market which you can load into your keyboard and play them back. Your keyboard model needs to support the use of samples.
You can connect your instrument to other digital devices and to the Computer using MIDI. MIDI has already been covered in another section, click here for more details.
Lot of models let you connect your keyboard to the Internet directly and download styles, songs, and effects which can be played back with your keyboard. You can even download them indirectly, from the internet to the computer and then to your keyboard.
Roland produces some great User-installable expansion boards for their Roland instruments. If you have one and are looking for some fresh and mind-blowing sounds, you can go through their collection of Expansion Boards.