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digital audio workstations
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Yamaha Ypg-635
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Yamaha Ypg-635

Known also by the name, “portable grand piano", the Yamaha YPG-635 is the answer for those who seek the real sound, feel, and action of a high-class, real piano in a more manageable form. Equipped with 88 weighted graded hammer-action keys, you’ll be taking the magic of a grand piano practically anywhere you desire.

One of the top 10 best selling keyboards of 2010 on Amazon, and still near the top of the pack in 2011, the YPG-635 is already a trusted keyboard, and is well on its way to revolutionizing the idea of what kind of instrument most families will keep in their living room.

Apart from imitating a grand piano, this keyboard excels as a learning tool. It is packaged with the “Yamaha Education Suite” which includes 100 songs - 30 built-in, and 70 more on an included CD-ROM. With just a push of a button you can play along and learn and strengthen your independence; the songs are separated into right and left hand parts. The education program also has a chord dictionary designed into the keyboard, along with three lessons for each hand on each song, and it will intelligently monitor your progress.

Recording sessions is fast and easy; a 6-track sequencer is been built into the keyboard. This sequencer is essentially a multi-track recorder that will allow you to record any session easily when you want to, and listen back to it whenever as well. The keyboard is also easily compatible as a tool with DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) like Garageband, Logic, etc. for more in-depth recording.

Perhaps this keyboards's most awesome feature is the “Full Keyboard Mode”. This mode actually re-programs the keys to function exactly like those of a real piano. As some of you may know, keyboards normally require melodies to be played on the right and chords to be played on the left. Full Keyboard Mode allows true freedom over all of the keys just like a piano. When this mode is enabled with the accompaniment feature on as well, the chords you play will be followed along by the virtual band playing. This is an excellent feature, and really epitomizes how the Yamaha YPG-635 imitates a grand piano.

One small drawback - the built-in speakers on the keyboard cannot reach a very loud volume. This is the most cited downside in reviews of this keyboard, but can be easily remedied if need be. And, after all, you would only need to remedy this if you plan to use this keyboard live in a performance, or together with other loud instruments in a rehearsal. If this is the case, you will need an amplifier to use with the keyboard. However, if you plan to just use this keyboard in the house casually, you should have no problems.

All things considered, this is a GREAT keyboard. It’s most prominent strength is its ability to perfectly replace a piano, to feel, act, and sound just like one. With that together with its built in multi-track recorder, and smart education program, the YPG-635 is truly a pristine instrument for the paid price.

So, to recap, let's look at the major pros and cons...

Pros:

  • Realistic sound of a grand piano in affordable, compact form.
  • Education program with lessons, individual hand training, 100 songs, and intellectual tracking on your progress.
  • Easy-to-use multi-track recorder AND simple compatibility with Garageband, Logic, etc. for more advanced recording.

Cons:

  • Built-in speakers can not reach amplitude fit for live gigs. Amplifier may be required for loud rehearsals and performances.
  • A straightforward sound – those seeking psychedelic effects or sounds may find less options than desired.

So! If you happen to be seeking a solid keyboard that feels and sounds like a real piano, shines as a teaching tool, and is very affordable, the Yamaha YPG-635 may be precisely what you need.


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