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Author Topic: CASIO Privia PX-560M!!  (Read 13120 times)
Kara-Moon Master
Posts: 1022

« on: August 30, 2015, 09:51:49 PM »

Just when I had given up the notion of adding hardware keyboards to my studio for good(due to the ever present trades-offs between much needed feature sets/sound quality and key-bed quality,well...I decided,that on the remote chance that Casio finally came full circle into the pro market,I was intrepid enough to check up on Casio's website to see what was new and innovative.

As it turns out(in the arena of synth workstations),Casio has finally come through,with flying colors!In fact...not only has Casio created a full blown studio-in-a-box,they've actually accomplished this better than any other competitor has done,in it's respective price range!

In a budget market replete with companies that cut too many corners to maximize their profit margins(& seriously compromising quality in certain areas),such as key-bed quality and the absence of the aftertouch function)..well..it leaves the user(with the modest lifestyle) with only two options; stick with computer workstations,or make some dire financial sacrifices for several months or years and splurge on a $4.000 keyboard,such as the Korg Kronos.

After Casio having listened attentively to their consumer's request to fill this void in the market,Casio provided exactly was what asked of them,which is the Privia PX-560M!

Though the PX-560 is marketed under their digital piano line(the PX-560,nonetheless,is a bonafide synth workstation in every respect.)The PX-560 takes after it's predecessor(which is the PX-5S),which was essentially the same stage piano,minus the multi-track midi sequencer and the large touchscreen display.
This means,that the PX-560 has the same remarkable sound engine,layering capabilities and polyphony of the PX-5S(but with a few less physical controls).I had always marveled over the magnificent sound quality and deep editing capabilities of the PX-5S,but being that one had to rely on an iPad or a computer to do deep editing and minus the midi sequencer,I had to pass on the PX-5S(as I am not a live player.)

Under the hood, the PX-560 is not just a highly capable stage piano, but a full-fledged synthesizer. Unlike most other synths, going deep into sound design is as easy as touching the display. The PX-560 features Casio’s Hex Layer technology, borrowed from the flagship Privia Pro PX-5S. This means you can create massive splits and layers, with four zones and a total of 14 layers at once. What’s more, you can edit these Tones to sculpt them into something new and all your own. There are three realtime control knobs, as well as a modulation wheel, all of which can be controlling up to two assignable parameters at once. With great-sounding filters, responsive envelopes, and extensive modulation, the PX-560 can be a sonic playground as well as a performance instrument.

As for the heart of any good keyboard,the sounds make or break an instrument...but there's absolutely no compromises in terms of sonic details,at this price point.The PX-560 has a proprietary acoustic modeling feature,that Casio has named;  "Multi-dimensional Morphing AiR Sound Source" and with their piano sounds in particular,the piano articulation effects are extraordinary,as you have multiple levels of hammer response,damper noise,damper resonance,string resonance and key off simulator.

The attention to sonic details is not just limited to acoustic tones,as the PX-560's sample-based synthesizer engine,is incredibly rich,warm and very analogue-sounding!An integral part of this synth's prowess,is it's ability to allow the user to pick and choose multiple waveforms and create presets with up to 14 layers?How's this possible you may ask?Well...256 note polyphony is the reason(holy friggin' hell!!
  Grin Afro
Not only is the PX-560 a gargantuan sound factory(with 650 tones & endless combinations of them),but also boasts 16 midi tracks,1 midi system track and an audio recorder via a USB stick(user can use up to a 32GB thumb drive!!)
The effects section of this beast is mind-blowing as well,as it's riddled with FX,such as reverb,chorus,delay,enhancer,equalizer,early reflection,limiter,compressor,phaserflanger,rotary,drive rotary,tremelo,auto pan,LFO wah,pitch shifter,ring modulator,multi-chorus,distortion AND multiple piano effects that simulate many nuances of a piano,such as an open lid on a piano,resonance..etc.,.

I should also mention that the PX-560 is a full fledged midi controller(which in one of it's many talents,allows the user to control a computer DAW and another keyboard simultaneously!)The PX-560 also has a 5.3" color touch screen,1/4 stereo audio in's & out's,1/8 stereo input,dual headphone outs,a class complaint USB output and a 2-way,4 speaker system!

The single most incredible thing about this keyboard,is it's price; $1199!!




On a side note,I must say...that between a tanked economy and the general wanton greed of companies like Korg,Yamaha,Roland & Kurzweil...Casio is not only a welcome change of pace & an unbelievable value...but Casio's devotion to it's customers(along with fair pricing),also reveals just how fleeced the public has been by the competition.
That said,I will NEVER consider buying anything from the other big boys...not ever and that's my solemn promise.
In fact,I mean to do everything in my power,to promote Casio...in any way I can(particularly,once I get my hands on this keyboard.)What drives me even further to do this,is that because Casio has advertised the PX-560 as a digital piano(rather than bluntly labeling it a synth workstation),the result,so far...has been that this instrument has fallen under the radar and has gone largely unnoticed by the general public.
I mean...it's bad enough,that Casio has unfortunately,developed a reputation for making consumer-grade toy keyboards and nothing more(largely due to the fact(as it were).that they haven't made any pro keyboards since the 80's and it is only in recent years,that Casio has gradually re-entered the pro market.

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