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elwoodblues1969
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« on: September 16, 2010, 05:35:06 AM »

The last time I owned a Casio,was about 7 years ago...at a time when I was just getting back on my feet and did not have sufficient funds to purchase a professional keyboard.
This lead me to choosing the Casio WK-3800 and even then,Casios were no joke(at least in terms of sound quality) and in fact,I can remeber the synth sounds being reminiscent to the old Roland Super JX-10 & the acoustic sounds were impressive as well,for a $400 keyboard.

Even though the WK-3800 was marketed as being a workstation,it only had 6 tracks and one insert effect(if I recall correctly).What was worse,is that there was not only the absence of pattern sequencing,but no quantizing either.
The single most distressing thing about the WK-3800,is that there was no audible metronome...meaning that-in the display,there was a graphical symbol of a metronome,with an animated arm that moved from left to right.

I went absolutely nuts..pulling my hair out,in trying to figure out how to turn on the metronome,only to find out via customer service,that there was in fact,no audible metronome.
Get this....I was told that the WK-3800 had a visual metronome-yes you read correctly;A VISUAL METRONOME.

All this being said,I was tickled pink to discover the WK-7500 is in fact,a workstation..with 16 track midi recording,quantizing,pattern mode,insert effects and audio recording!

From what I gathered in reading the manual on Casio's website,the WK-7500 seems to have only 2 insert effects,which is reverb and your choice of either chorus or a selection of one of the 100 other DSP effects in conjunction with the reverb(chorus & the other DSP effects cannot be used together).

There is also full computer connectivity,including an editor & the option of saving data.There is also an SD card slot for saving your work,which is a beautiful thing-especially so,since the previous WK model was still using floppy disks!!
Shocked Roll Eyes

At the rate that Casio is now advancing,they will soon surpass Roland workstations and actually-in terms of sounds,Casio has already done that! Cheesy

The release of the WK-7500 is slated for October,but no price is listed as of yet,but I strongly suspect that it will be well under a $1,000 and it should prove to be the biggest bargain in the semi-professional workstation arena and I am tempted at the prospect of adding it to my gear collection! wOO

http://www.casio-intl.com/emi/sp/high_grade/en/gallery/


-Thom


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* Casio WK-7500.PNG (444.31 KB, 646x567 - viewed 1098 times.)

* WK-7500.PNG (951.35 KB, 1334x449 - viewed 341 times.)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 04:29:14 AM by elwoodblues1969 » Logged

impablomations
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2010, 01:17:42 PM »

Wow sounds like Casio have upped their game considerably.  I haven't owned a Casio since I was a kid, and once I became an adult and started playing semi-professionally I never gave them a second thought as I always considered them in the 'Asda/Walmart kids christmas present' area.

Looks like my synth snobbishness might have made me pass by a decent bargain synth or two!!
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kwandar
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2010, 02:22:36 AM »

I started looking for a keyboard in the last few weeks, looked at WK-200, then WK-500, then WK-3800 (a floppy drive?!) and latched onto the WK-7500.   Casio informed me that North America should start to see deliveries between mid January and mid-February.  I'd guess that they've tied this into the NAMM show on January 13th as a new product announcement.  So for those interested, you're only a month away from it!  wOO

My interest in a keyboard came about as a way to practice my vocals (accompaniement) and as a way to "try" to stick the songs/tunes/music in my head onto media and to develop them.  I also have a 5 year old daughter, so part of me is looking at this to perhaps allow her to acquire piano skills.

My skills with piano are decades old, and I'm torn as to what to acquire:

1) inexpensive ($280) WK-500, has some basic piano lessons and later get something else as technology moves on and/or my daughter needs something more piano like/better.  How much better is WK6500 and what is the price?  Looks to be close to same as WK500?  IS WK6500 just an upgraded version -based on EUro price wk6500 would be about  $100 more.

2) WK-7500 to allow me to get my songs out.  Concerns I have about the WK-7500 is possibility of keyboard clacking (like wk-500?), non-weighted keys (as opposed to PX-330), only a single insert effect(I'm not sure how important that is), and price (based on EU pricing without VAT it is $225 more (or approx $500) - is it worth that much more?) since price for WK7500 hasn't been listed yet.  Maybe WK6500 which might be at WK500 pricing?

I've been checking out Craigslist and Kijiji but haven't seen much.  Casio also seemed to be the best bang for the buck at the lower end of the spectrum, so if it is Casio I'm trying to understand how much dollar value the WK6500 and WK7500 should have over WK500 - and if it is worth it to me now.

Is there anything else I should look at?  I'd like to stick to 76+ keys.



« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 04:56:18 AM by kwandar » Logged
Oren
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2010, 06:18:13 AM »

Is there anything else I should look at?  

Thom...?  Grin
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elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2011, 01:07:58 AM »

Hi Kwandar,

Thanks for the updated info on the release of the WK-7500(I was told not to long ago,that the 7500 would not be available until the spring of this year).
After having heard the 6500 in a video from a Brazilian convention,I was not all impressed....but then again,the product was not amply demonstrated.
Casio is pretty vague when it comes to describing the sample quality & sound engine,as they like to refer to it as a "Dual-Element",or a "Tri-Elelment" sound source(whatever that means). Roll Eyes
Being that the 6500 is only a Dual-Element sound source,it seems only logical to gravitate towards the Tri-Element 7500(although the difference could be negligible).

Since I've only been working with professional keyboards in the last 6 years,I can't offer a comparison between the WK-500 and the others and it was only an accident that I even knew of the WK-7500's existence.
As for the key-bed quality...well....you get what you pay for amongst keyboard workstations in this price range,but word has it,that the key-bed noise has been improved on this model(when in doubt,crank up the volume & drown out the key-bed noise...problem solved)! Grin

The cost of the WK-7500 is 449 euro,which translates to $589 USD...but does not necessarily determine the actual retail price in the U.S..

As for the number of insert effects on the WK-7500...if I recall correctly,I read that the 7500 has 2 insert effects,but that the reverb & chorus effect cannot be used simultaneously.

Can't really tell you what else you should be looking at,until you tell me what your max dollar amount is for a keyboard.I can however,tell you that things get really interesting in the $1,000 range though! Wink


-Thom
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kwandar
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2011, 11:53:20 PM »

Hi Thom, thank you for the reply.

I'm hoping that Casio is right on North America delivery timing.  It seems reasonable given NAMM and the fact that we are only a few weeks away.  I've been listening to videos on youtube, but its hard to hear enough (that was recorded properly) to get an impression.  The Casio PX130/330 has a quad element sample engine and l'd be extremely happy if the WK-7500 comes close to their grand piano sounds.  My estimate of pricing for Wk-7500 from the UK (I used a percentage comparison based on other products in the Casio line) indicates it could come in at about $499 in North America.  My place for a cheap WK-500 only appears to have one left, so I'm hoping they hurry up and confirm pricing and I get to hear/see touch soon and make a decision.

I heard that Brazilian video as well, and as I recall the guy was holding microphone over a speaker.  I found a few factory demos uploaded and a little bit of playing .. factory demos sounded pretty good I thought, recorded through line-in. 

http://www.youtube.com/user/fedepede04

Piano seemed good, drums were good, love to hear more though.

My maximum dollar could be high, but realistically my wife was having sticker shock at $500.   I'm in the Casio/Yamaha lower end range and need to try to maximize bang for the buck, maximize my fun/enjoyment, get my daughter some learning/use out of it hopefully.  Out of curiosity though, what do you like in the $1,000 area?  What do you like playing the most, and why?

I'm a little lost on insert effects (I only have some prehistoric piano background).  Do you often use more than two? 

Thank you.


PS As an interesting side note it looks from the Casio UK Website that they've already dropped the WK-6500



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elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2011, 01:40:30 AM »

Kwandar,

Well....I don't have any 76-key keyboards myself, due to space constraints,& the nearest thing to the $1,000 range I have,is my Kurzweil PC3LE6....which I paid $1320 for.
Despite it being only a 61-key,it does have full size keys with a very solid semi-weighted action and STELLAR piano sounds...as well as many other sounds that can only be described as "8-element"-quality sounds! Wink

There are some good choices for a $1,000 in terms of workstations such as the Yamaha MO6 & the Korg M50 61-key,but 76 keys will run you an average of about $500 more for the extra octave.
I previously owned the Korg M50 61-key & the sequencer is hands down,the most comprehensive & user-friendly workstation in the business,for a grand.
The pianos were usable,but where this keyboard really shines in terms of sounds,are the brass,drum,bass,guitar & synth sounds.

As for insert effects,my Korg M3 has 5 insert effects & 3 master effects(all of which I cannot live without),as they really bring a professional polish to the end result of my recordings.
That being said,I a-l-w-a-y-s use all of the insert effects that are available.
My Kurzweil has 8 insert effects,but the effects routing is implemented differently & the amount of the effects used,is contingent to the number of effects that are utilized in each program patch....so it's a terrible pain in the ass & it's nothing anywhere near as gratifying as the effects routing in my Korg M3.

Being that your wife has a stronghold on the family budget,I would strongly advise that you resign yourself to only the WK-7500,because there is absolutely nothing else out there that comes close to the 7500,for the price....for what it offers.
If insert effects are really important to you,then I would suggest that you find a means of exporting your tracks from the 7500,to a computer DAW(assuming you are in fact,buying the 7500).


-Thom
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kwandar
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2011, 03:28:21 AM »

Yes, the PS3LE series looked fantastic! (heh - so did that Motif Smiley )

Dumb Question #1:  Can you program a tone with effects already included in it, so you work around the 2 effect limitation? 

I haven't used a DAW and my brother who uses an expensive Roland mentioned he doesn't use DAW as there is a lot of latency between hitting the key and using the DAW. 

Dumb Question #2: Does USB reduce latency versus Midi, perhaps?  (He is using a high end Roland of some sort, but he got it used, so maybe he only has Midi)

What DAWs do you recommend?

and yes .... if they get around to selling them and price is somewhat close to my expectation, then that is probably what I'll end up with, though I'd prefer a PC3LE7 .... okay ... lets be honest ... I'd prefer a Motif 4 Smiley




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elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011, 04:54:41 PM »

Answer # 1; The number of effects resources in a keyboard is overall,so the effects applied to the program and the effects applied in the sequencer mode,are all drawn from the same pool.
That being said,the effects(preset or custom) in the program mode,that are copied to the song mode,are drawing processing power from that pool...thereby leaving you with less effects that you can implement in the sequencer section.
In the simplest of terms,if you apply two different effects to a program patch,that's two less effects resources you have to work with in the song mode.....so if you have a total of 5 insert effects in a Korg M3 for example,you now have only two additional insert effects to apply to your song.
As for the master effects(which the Korg has a total of 3),you can combine these effects with your insert effects,& choose what tracks you want to apply these effects to.

As for latency,that's pretty much a thing of the past,as most current hardware keyboards are designed to work seamlessly with computers.I've never used a midi connection to hook up a hardware keyboard to a PC-but this is immaterial,as USB is the way to go,as I have never a latency problem(with the exception of my first bout with a computer sequencer,as I didn't know what I was doing back then),but there are adjustments that can be made within the software program,to eliminate latency issues....should they surface for some reason.

As things go with hardware keyboards & DAWS-I myself,prefer to use midi controller keyboards with my computer programs,as they are drastically cheaper than hardware keyboards(obviously) and there is a wide variety of key-beds to choose from.
You can get a 76-key midi controller keyboard with great action for under $500(USD),but the price of controller keyboards vary greatly,depending upon how comprehensive the control surface is...i.e. how many DAW controls there are...knobs,sliders,faders & such....also,some controller keyboards have automatic mapping features that configure themselves to your DAW's screen functions(but all controller keyboards are user-programmable).

The way that I incorporate my hardware keyboard recordings into my DAW program is pretty unorthodox,in that when I am done sequencing my songs within my Korg & Kurzweil keyboards,I then record the outgoing audio to a hardware multi-track recorder and then transfer the tracks as WAV files via a USB thumb drive,to my computer DAW.

All this being said,it may be in your best interest to buy the WK-7500 mainly for your daughter's use to keep things simple for her and then eventually invest in a midi controller keyboard,audio interface,powered speakers & a software program for your PC(this is absolutely the most prudent & pragmatic way to acquire high quality sounds at a cost that is a mere fraction of what it costs to buy a hardware workstation).

I have two software programs-one of which,is the Propellerhead Reason 4 program,which is a midi-based program(sequencer,multiple synthesizer engines & sample-based sounds.
The other,is my main recording platform...the center of my studio,which an audio/midi program called Presonus Studio One.This was my first audio/midi program,so I have no basis for comparison with the other big names,such as Pro Tools,Sonar,Ableton etc.,.

However though...based on my research,it seemed to me that the Presonus program had the best configuration...very efficient,powerful & the most versatile.
It's $400(USD) for the program,but worth every red cent,in my opinion,as it offers quite a library of virtual instruments,effects,built in MP3 conversion & CD burning & a direct upload to SoundCloud.
The customer support is top notch & they are very kind & generous to newbies,as are the folks on the Presonus forum,which is located on the Presonus website.

By the way,I do prefer the Korg & Yamaha keyboards for their sequencers & computer screens-as even though the Kurzweil's sounds & effects are amazing,the size of the screen & sequencer,leaves a lot to be desired.

If you don't play live venues & portability is not an issue,you really ought to invest in a computer workstation,as you can just gradually add the sounds to your DAW as you can afford them and virtually all of the sounds you buy are much better in sample quality & overall sound quality-but this of course,is contingent on how much money you are willing to invest in each sound package you buy for your DAW program.


-Thom
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kwandar
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2011, 03:07:48 AM »

Thom:

Thank you very much for the extensive message, and thank your for putting things in terms I could understand!  I appreciate the help.

Is there any reason that a WK-7500 wouldn't work as a midi-keyboard? (recognizing keybed on WK-7500 might not be quite as nice, as that is not where the money is going).  Ohh ... I think in reading your response it is the controls you can set for the DAW from the keyboard?  I see they have a "local control" button, but does that mean controls can be mapped into the DAW (or mapped by the DAW) somehow?

Workstations I can do .... I take it I need a separate audio card?

This is becoming more and more interesting Smiley   Can't wait to actually have something!

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elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2011, 11:11:14 PM »

No problemo mi amigo...glad to help. Cool Though the WK-7500 does have a USB cable,I am not sure if it doubles as a midi controller...I would suggest downloading the PDF manual from Casio's website,on that matter.

As for mapping out controls,the auto-mapping function that some midi controllers have,is a two-way communication between the controller & DAW,whereas manual mapping is done from the controller itself.

The audio interface that I had mentioned in my previous post,has a audio card built into it(a better value,& a lot easy to install-via a USB cable).


-Thom
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bvdp
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2011, 12:15:32 AM »

A lot of newer consumer grade keyboards are "midi" but lack midi ports Smiley What they are doing is putting a usb port on the keyboard which your computer will see as midi. For sure the casio line is doing this. Anyone know of others?

I don't know if the port on the keyboard is switchable (so that you can do things besides midi on it). Anyone?

From a computer view it works just fine. Just like having a USB<->MIDI interface you can pick up for a few bucks.

The downside is that you can't hook the keyboard up to other midi stuff (or the other way around). And, no, you can't fake it by using the aforementioned USB-MIDI interface since you need a host (computer), not a client (keyboard). Just like you can't connect 2 cameras with a usb cable. There was a discussion on this a while ago on a casio discussion group on yahoo.

It's quite possible that if there is a demand someone will manufacture an appropriate interface to connect real midi to fake.

So long as you don't what to go gigging with the keyboard and need a lot of midi interfacing you'll be fine. If you do, remember you'll need a computer to act as an interface.

Hope this helps,
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kwandar
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2011, 03:33:22 PM »

<i>"I don't know if the port on the keyboard is switchable (so that you can do things besides midi on it). Anyone?"</i>

Casio has a download available called Data Manager 6.0.  "Data Manager 6.0 is a music data management software that you can run on your computer to perform the following tasks.
   Save Instrument data to a computer.
   Copy PC data to the Instrument.
   Save Audio Files to a computer."

Not sure if that is what you mean by switchable?

I finally see that Casio is getting the WK-7500 ready for Namm - there was a short video preview up (not that I can find it again?!)  I also so some discussion that this (or perhaps they were referring to an as yet announced Casio keyboard?) will do for workstations what the Px-330 did for piano keyboards.  If so, that will be quite something.

I can't wait to see some keyboards in the stores.

Now ... to clarify, would it be likely that there is (or will be) some "auto-mapping" for a DAW?  Not having used a DAW, I'd presume that they would have a list of instruments you can map to, if there is auto mapping?
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elwoodblues1969
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2011, 03:55:41 PM »

Kwandar,

Bear in mind that Casio is still a consumer grade keyboard & a budget one at that,so don't expect too much from it.More than likely,the functions listed on the Casio website may be all that this keyboard is capable of.

You should be aware as well,that an Auto-Mapping feature is a specialty amongst professional midi controller keyboards,which make them quite expensive.
That being said,it's highly unlikely that the WK-7500 has this function-as if it was included,it would most certain be advertised.


-Thom
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kwandar
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2011, 06:49:21 PM »

I know it is consumer grade, but the two areas I am concerned about are sound and keybed.  IF (and that may be a real leap of faith) it is of the same quality as the PX330 with respect to those two items (tri-element is the same, although only 64 notes polyphony versus 128 on PX330) then it is likely to more than serve any purpose I have. 

Given it is the bottom of the market where the volumes are, and Casio is a low-cost producer, they may well be moving the market up from the bottom.  Time will tell.

All that being said I'm quite sure that the keyboard doesn't have mapping.  I should have been clearer in my question.  I was thinking that perhaps the DAW software might have mapping to different keyboards (although the WK-7500 would be too new to have mapping immediately).  Do DAW's map?
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