Synth, Electronic & Audio

This section covers the range of synthesisers, keyboards, electronic music gadgets, and other audio devices used in making and recording music, from manufacturers such as Yamaha, Korg, Kurzweil, Roland, Casio, and Moog, as well as looking at projects and techniques for synth playing and programming.


It’s the age-old rivalry — piano versus guitar. Throw synth keyboard players into the mix, attempting guitar-esque sounds, and you’re sure to be met with looks of disdain from guitar purists. While most pianists would never dare to suggest they could emulate the nuances of a guitar via the keyboard, […]

Guitar-like nuances added to piano keyboard via touchscreen technology



Loops, Basses and Drum Kits for Techno & Electronica Minimal Techno: Stripped down, unrelenting grooves, processed electronic drum kits, and deep basses with soul. Featuring modwheel-scanned and tempo-synced loops, chordal and sequenced synth stabs, noise hits and sweeps, all with extensive remix variations for real-time performance. Minimal Techno features 264MB […]

Minimal Techno from Camel Audio launched



Today we are blessed with a plethora of software, apps and keyboards with built-in music theory/practice features, but back in the 1980s that wasn’t the case. Yamaha decided to build in some basic musical games on its mini HandySound keyboards, which were manufactured in the early ’80s. According to the […]

Yamaha HandySound mini keyboard with built-in games [Vintage]


Alongside its new range of Celviano digital pianos, Casio has introduced the Privia Pro PX-5S professional stage piano. The Privia Pro is a new category of Casio digital piano, targeted at professional stage pianists. Not only is it a digital piano but it can also serve as an advanced MIDI […]

Casio Privia Pro PX-5S professional stage piano [NAMM13]


A major feature at this year’s NAMM show is that of interaction between digital keyboards / pianos and mobile devices, in particular Apple’s line of iPad, iPhone and iPod products. Yamaha is debuting a range of new apps for iOS-based devices, seeking to help musicians get the most from their […]

Yamaha iOS apps for music playing, arranging, organising, recording, editing ...



Yamaha announces its Mexican Banda Voice and Style Expansion Pack for the PSR-S650, featuring brand new voices recorded by leading musicians in the genre. This package contains seven new authentic Banda Voices recorded in a professional studio with professional Banda musicians. Instruments include Trombon Banda, Trompeta Banda, Clarinete Banda, Charcheta […]

Yamaha PSR-S650 Mexican Banda Expansion Pack [NAMM13]


Yamaha has extended its PSR-E line of beginner-friendly keyboards with the introduction of the PSR-E243 and PSR-E343 instruments. (Compare PSR-E243 with PSR-E343.) Aimed at those just starting out on their learning journey, both 61-key instruments feature the Yamaha Education Suite which enables students to teach themselves piano. As you’d expect, […]

Yamaha PSR-E243 and PSR-E343 keyboards [NAMM13]


Yamaha has upgraded its range of PSR-S arranger keyboards with the introduction of the PSR-S750 and PSR-S950 models. They feature Super Articulation Voices, more performance styles and a number of advanced connectivity options that offer possibilities previously only found on higher-end Yamaha instruments such as the Tyros4. The PSR-S950 arranger […]

Yamaha PSR-S750 and PSR-S950 Arranger Keyboards [NAMM13]



Roland has introduced its latest backing keyboard, the BK-3, following last year’s BK-5. Designed particularly to suit solo performers and home musicians, while this is an entry-level backing instrument it still packs in a decent number of features. The BK-3 features a wide range of international sounds and rhythms, making […]

Roland BK-3 Backing Keyboard [NAMM13]


Roland has introduced its latest performance-oriented keyboard, the V-Combo VR-09. Touted as an ideal all-in-one solution for performing keyboard players, it offers fast access to the sounds most frequently used by musicians. This means dedicated piano, organ and synth sound engines, quickly selectable and editable from the large LCD screen. […]

Roland V-Combo VR-09 Live Performance Keyboard [NAMM13]








Alesis Vortex Keytar angled view 1
Alesis has introduced its Vortex USB/MIDI Keytar controller complete with an onboard accelerometer. Bearing similarities to the Roland AX-Synth, the Vortex gives keyboard performers the freedom to move around during a performance while still being able to control a host of other equipment. Alesis Vortex Key Features Dynamic, shoulder-worn performance […]

Alesis Vortex USB/MIDI Keytar with Accelerometer unveiled






ADE-10 Reactive Shaper
The latest piece of kit from Abstract Data is the ADE-10 Reactive Synth. Waveshaping, Wavefolding, Feedback and full CV control in a low-profile, high-quality 10HP Eurorack module. DC-coupled I/Os with individual Gain/Attenuation will accept most Audio and CV waveforms. Two simultaneous Full- and Half-wave Outputs provide effected AC audio and […]

ADE-10 Reactive Shaper from Abstract Data






We love digging up cool/bizarre little instruments and the Panasonic R-1088 is just such a find. Sorry, Panasonic? Since when did they make musical instruments? Well, they may not be in the same league as Yamaha, Roland or Korg, but that doesn’t mean they can’t produce a product you only […]

Panasonic R-1088 AM Portable Radio / Mini Organ [Vintage]





Step Sequencer
Casio’s musical instrument department enters a new era as it announces the launch of two new professional music synthesisers. First up is the XW-G1 Groove Synthesiser, targeted specifically at DJs and club performers with its interactive step sequencer and sample looper. Key features of the 61-key XW-G1 synth are: 6 […]

Casio XW-G1 groove synthesiser and XW-P1 launched [NAMM12]



Korg Kaossilator 2 angled front view
Korg has updated its hugely popular Kaossilator with the arrival of the Kaossilator 2. Still sporting a vibrant yellow body (whether it comes in pink is another matter) it boasts a range of features including: Simple control with finger taps/slides on the integrated X-Y touchpad 150 built-in sounds cover every […]

Korg Kaossilator 2 bursts into life [NAMM12]



Yamaha EZ-220 Lighted Keyboard
Yamaha has updated its EZ-200 lighted keyboard with the introduction of the EZ-220. Compare EZ-200 and EZ-220. It includes 100 preset songs designed to help beginners learn to play the keyboard. It features 392 built-in voices including realistic acoustic instruments including drums, plus synths and sound effects. There are 100 […]

Yamaha intros EZ-220 lighted keyboard [NAMM12]



Roland FR-1x V-Accordion Red open view 1
Roland takes another step on its decade-long V-Accordion journey with the introduction of the FR-1x V-Accordion. It builds upon the current FR-1 V-Accordions with the following key features: FR-1x Piano type and FR-1x Button type with stereo speaker system onboard USB memory port for Wave/MP3 player, new-sounds upload, data loading/saving […]

Roland intros FR-1x V-Accordion [NAMM12]


Roland PK-6 dynamic MIDI foot pedal top view
Roland has updated its impressive MIDI foot pedal with the introduction of the PK-6 dynamic MIDI pedal. Looking much like the pedals found on an organ, this versatile piece of kit allows the keyboard player/pianist great creativity and flexibility by controlling MIDI with the feet. Compatible with most MIDI devices […]

Roland intros PK-6 dynamic MIDI pedal [NAMM12]


Roland BK-5 backing keyboard top view
Auto-accompaniment features on electronic keyboards are nothing new, but Roland believes it has stepped up the game a notch with the introduction of its BK-5 Backing Keyboard. Designed for the one-man gigging keyboardist, or to use to accompany others, the BK-5 includes a powerhouse of authentic sounds, a large range […]

Roland intros BK-5 backing keyboard [NAMM12]



Roland Atelier AT-900 Platinum Edition organ top view
Three years after the launch of the Atelier AT-900 organ, Roland has updated and released the flagship “platinum edition” AT-900. This edition has a newly-updated cabinet design, expanded voices and additional features, including: Lustrous walnut finish Acclaimed Virtual Tone Wheel organ sound Improved and expanded Pipe Organ voices Expressive, organic […]

Roland intros Platinum Edition Atelier AT-900 organ [NAMM12]



Roland V-Drums TD-30KV drum kit
Roland continues to build on its decade-long history of V-Drums with the introduction of the SuperNATURAL-powered TD-30KV and TD-30K V-Pro Series electronic drum set. You’ll probably best know SuperNATURAL from its role in the V-Piano. Key features include Behaviour Modelling and advanced sensing technology that reacts and responds to a […]

Roland introduces V-Drums V-Pro Series [NAMM12]



The Las Vegas Review Journal has published a really interesting interview with Nick Rhodes, the keyboard/synth player in Duran Duran. Not only do we get a glimpse of some of his influences — including Kraftwerk, Wendy Carlos, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Bjork and Portishead — but an interesting look at […]

Nick Rhodes, Duran Duran synth man, talks analog and digital


Sonoma Wire Works has just announced an update to its GuitarJack interface. Named the GuitarJack 2, this hardware will let you record far more than just guitars onto your Apple mobile device. Key features include a 1/4-inch input with configurable modes, a 1/8-inch stereo output with increased drive for headphones, […]

GuitarJack 2: audio recording on-the-go with iPad, iPhone, iPod touch