Do you prefer performing solo, or you just can’t find a team that can join you on your gigs? No worries! With the use of an arranger keyboard, you can still produce a full band sound even with just your piano. An arranger piano can produce real instrument sounds. It means having that live and kicking sound of drums while enjoying some bass too.
First, let’s talk about the arranger keyboard’s purpose, and how it stands out among other keyboards. Arranger keyboards are a one-stop-shop for making music as they provide backing tracks for whatever you’re playing. Whether you’re a songwriter who wants your lyrics played quickly over music or a composer who needs to produce music quickly, the arranger keyboard has your back.
Arranger piano can produce different sounds. It can produce near-perfect musical (guitar, pianos, drum, and even horns) sounds. It is different from a machine that produces electronic sounds. Arranger piano is more useful for live performers because of its built-in sequencers and arrangement functions.
It is like having your recording room in one place – a mobile recording studio that you can bring with you wherever you go. One of the unique features of an arranger keyboard is its capability to remove vocals and display lyrics from a song. It also allows recording and MIDI/WAV/MP3 editing.
Arranger Keyboard Buying Guide
Finding the right arranger keyboard can be overwhelming. There are so many options available that finding the right one can feel almost impossible. So, we have put together a buying guide for anyone interested in buying an arranger keyboard with some helpful tips to ensure you’re getting everything you need.
The specific type of arranger keyboard that you need will vary heavily based on the type of music that you are making and how you will be using it. So, here is a list of things to consider before making your purchase:
The number of keys on a keyboard will determine what you can play on it. If you are looking for a keyboard to play like a piano, then the more keys the more range you will have available. Fewer keys provide more basic notes and sounds while more keys allow for a fuller piano-like experience.
Keys also come in different weights depending on what you’re looking for. This is called action, and it describes how keys respond to your push. Keys can be made heavier to play similarly to a piano. If you are looking for an easier way to play, then consider semi-weighted keys for ease of use or synth-action keys which are light and spring-loaded.
ROM and RAM
ROM expansion allows you to extend the range of your keyboard with sound cards. Read-only memory is vital for being able to add new sounds to your keyboard. Arranger keyboards tend to come with many different sounds and variations, but there is an end to it. ROM allows you to keep adding new and different sounds if you reach that end.
RAM or random access memory determines how much storage your keyboard will have for storing the music that you make. More RAM means more space to save your work and more time to record. For those who plan to do everything on the keyboard, more RAM will benefit you as you continue to experiment with your music. There are many options to download music made on your keyboard to a device of your choosing, so for the more tech-savvy, RAM may not mean much to you.
For easy transferring and storage you may want to consider an arranger keyboard with a USB interface. This will allow you to take your keyboard even further by using it to easily control your music software. If you plan to use your own music software to assist with making music, then having transfer abilities can speed up the music-making process and allow you to work solely on the keyboard without adding to it later.
After you choose your new keyboard, there are some accessories that may or may not come with the keyboard that will make your musical journey easier. An adjustable stool is going to be helpful for those many hours spent composing on your new keyboard. Stools do not commonly come with keyboards, so you will need to find one on your own. Consider comfort and adjustability when looking for the right stool for you.
Make sure you also have a place for your sheet music on your keyboard. Some will come with a stand, but many brands don’t include stands. If you want to play your music for other people, then you should consider an amplifier to help produce a louder and clearer sound than your keyboard. For those who work on their music at night, you should consider headphones to ensure that your neighbors aren’t woken up late at night while you compose your music. Some of these things may come with your keyboard, but it is important to factor these necessities into your budget before buying your keyboard.
As you consider these factors when buying your arranger keyboard, keep in mind that the more extras you get now, the longer your keyboard will serve all your needs. Considering things like ROM addition compatibility can keep you from using the same few sounds and allow you to experiment with new sounds regularly. If you are a beginner, then a basic keyboard can get you started quickly and allow you to find your sound. As your experience and knowledge grow, you will most likely need to upgrade. Hopefully, this list helps you get started with finding the right keyboard for you.
Let us take a look at some of the most popular arranger keyboards in the market today.
Most Recommended Arranger Keyboards For One Man Band
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1) Roland E-A7
The most unique feature of the Roland E-A7 is its 61 velocity-sensitive keys. You can access multiple layers and functionalities through its dual-screen – making it a small but very versatile arranger piano.
This Roland arranger piano offers a wide range of options with more than 1500 different voices. If you have a specific WAV file that you want to incorporate with your music, you can easily import it into your library and use it during recording or live performances. For live performances, a mic input is also available.
For advanced users, you can choose from the 4-part split functionalities of this keyboard and 600 present styles. To add more storage, you can also insert an internal memory or connect a USB.
If you are not satisfied with your recording, you can always edit your tracks. This arranges piano offer such features, including instrument-oriented editing. Take advantages of its many offerings, such as 6 master EQ presets and input effects (reverb types and delay types).
The Roland E-A7 is lightweight and portable, with merely 17.38 pounds. Bring it with you when visiting a friend so you can do some gigs or just bring it wherever you go and use it for practices and fun concerts. It might not offer many options like other arranger pianos, but the quality of sound produced by this instrument is always top-notch.
- Professional-level arranger keyboard that comes with a great editing engine.
- Its sampling tool is nice and very simple.
- It lets you record your song and play it later.
- Doesn’t come with an onboard sequencer. I often use my DAW for my sequencing, but it will definitely be convenient to have sequencing on the keyboard. Because of this, E-A7 falls off my list of great keyboards.
2) Korg Pa300
The Korg Pa300 is a well-known arranger piano among novice musicians and keyboardist. It is top-notch for its price and quality, and when used with proper skills, it is known to produce high-quality sound with its 61 velocity-sensitive keys. As a bonus, it is straightforward to use.
With its 3-band EQ and more than 950 sounds, you can turn your music into anything you want. It also comes with an X (Real eXperience) sound engine. This feature is useful if you want a guitar sound to stand out in your music.
Beginners can easily use this instrument with its 5’ touch screen display. On the screen, you can find an easy to understand interface, so you start making arrangements with no delay. It even comes with an auto-update operating system.
With the use of Korg Pa300, you can make your sound based on the 300+ presets available. Combine it with any of the 1040 styles then add your style to make your unique music. It allows chords and lyrics to read from MIDI, MP3, and KAR file types. With these features, you can now create songbooks easily.
For effects, you can add reverbs, delays, and chorus through its 4 stereo master effects processors. It also comes with REMS guitar-based effects and 3 or 4–band EQ track. Take advantage of these EQ processes to produce a well-tuned sound every time.
Lastly, this affordable arrange piano comes with an onboard 16-track sequencer that can easily record backing tracks. The only thing you have to consider with this instrument is the lack of aftertouch and mic input functions. Overall, it is an excellent arranger piano for beginners.
- Features good build quality with a fantastic sound engine. It allows for versatile connectivity options. It also comes with huge memory.
- It features a huge TFT touch screen, measuring around 5 inches.
- Its design is a bit outdated and dull. It should have more graphic display to give its appearance a bit of color.
- It is slim, compact, and lightweight.
3) Casio WK-7600 76-Key Portable Keyboard
Whether you are a beginner or a skilled keyboardist, the Casio WK-7600 is a great arranger piano to have. This is light and portable, and with 820 tones available at your disposal, you can start recording or playing live with complete instrument accompaniment even if you are on your own.
Despite being portable, the Casio QK-7600 is a powerful instrument. With its 17-tracks sequencer, you are on your way to broadcast great live performances or record ad tweak your performances and professional tracks. It is highly compatible with Apple devices, so just connect it to your Mac or iPad for added control. For Windows Computer, you just need a USB cable to connect it.
Available in black, this small arranger piano has nothing but elegance. Play around with its settings or just use the one-man-band accompaniment and enjoy the accompaniment of up to 8 instruments as you play and record your track. This feature produces drums, bass, percussion, and different string instruments at once. It means you can now have those solo concerts with varying patterns of accompaniment.
Although it is small, this arranger piano comes with a sustain pedal support and its powerful volume option. For storing your files, it comes with internal storage that can save up to 100 files or tracks.
Lastly, once you have saved your tracks, you can tweak it and make changes such as adding vibrato or make it sounds likes it too far – the reverb effect.
Overall, this small Casio instrument contains significant features that can make your music sound more prominent, livelier, and better.
- Comes with a massive selection of rhythms and sounds while offering superb organ and piano sounds.
- It has a 17-track sequencer along with a 6-track recorder which you will surely appreciate.
- It is affordable, given the features that come with it.
- Some sounds like those of the guitars are not good. Some tones, however, are okay.
- It doesn’t come with MIDI in/out and Mod Wheel. It also doesn’t have CV pedal input.
- It is also not perfect for live performances.
4) Yamaha PSR-S975 61-Key Arranger Workstation
When it comes to music instruments, Yamaha is one brand that keeps on popping up. The same thing goes for brands. Of arranger piano. One of their best so far is the Yamaha PSR-S975.
This arranger comes with a 61-key keyboard arranger in a very portable model. It will allow you to record your music or enjoy playing live music with just a touch of a button. If you loved the legendary Yamaha Tyros, you will love the PSR-S975 even more with its updated features along with the powerful functions of the Tyros.
One of the best features of this arranger piano is its accompaniment style that gives you a backing band experience. You can perform outdoor and feels like you have a 5-man band on stage with you. Give your audience a real concert experience with its 15W x 2 built-in speakers that produce a surround sound. In addition, your audience can also get to enjoy a 128-note polyphony experience.
It features an initial touch sensor where if you strike the keys harder, it produces a louder sound. If you want to produce sounds with different intensities, your finger skills and this arranger piano can do it for you.
Other features of the Yamaha PSR-S975 includes an LCD screen where you can display lyric. It is compatible with external displays as well if you want your audience to sing along with you. It comes with multi-pads and synth vocoder as well for greater vocal effects.
With 523 present styles available (almost all music genres are covered), 1090 voices, and 480 XG voices, this arranger piano is a great instrument to have to get your audience satisfied.
- If you are looking for a keyboard for a one-man band, this one is the finest choice you will ever have. It is lightweight and easy to use, and its sounding effects are great.
- If you are looking for weighted keys, you’ll get disappointed with this workstation because it doesn’t have weighted keys.
- It also comes with limited capabilities for sound editing.
- The plugin headphones’ port should have been positioned in front for easy access. It should not be at the back.