WORTHY OF THE LETTERS
THE PITCH A new flagship in an all-new CP stage piano line.
THE BIG DEAL Spectrum Component Modeling (SCM) provides ultra-detailed CF-IIIS and S6B concert grand piano sounds. CP70 electric grand, killer vintage EPs, and a real (not sampled) DX7-style FM synth. Virtual Circuit Modeling puts amp, cabinet, and stompbox modeling onboard. Real wooden keys.
THE SIBLINGS The new CP-5 and CP-50 are more portable and affordable, with fewer core SCM sounds, but many more Motif XS-like sounds for gigging.
WE THINK It sounds and feels amazing. Exclusive video of us trying it out is at keyboardmag.com/video. $5,999 list/approx. $5,000 street, yamaha.com
CASIO PRIVIA PX-830
DESIGN ON A DIME
THE PITCH Mod design, authentic sound, and great feel meet up in the Privia line’s new top model.
THE BIG DEAL New, four-layer piano multisample and matte-textured “Ivory Touch” keys. New 20W stereo speaker system and 128-note polyphony. Duet mode and dual 1/8" headphone jacks let student and teacher play the same notes.
WE THINK These console-table pianos are becoming a trend, and a quick look at specs says Casio may have the bang-for-buck leader. Matte black: $1,399 list; polished black: $1,799 list, priviapiano.com/p>
PUREMAGNETIK B-SYSTEM: BASSES & LEADS
MORE BUCHLA, LESS BUCKOLA
THE CONTENTS Over 1,000 24-bit samples from a Buchla 200e modular synth, 20 instruments, over 30 Ableton Live clips with integrated macros, over 30 Apple Loops, and a custom GUI for use in Native Instruments Kontakt.
THE DIFFERENCE Puremagnetik is subscription- based: Pay $5.75 monthly or $60 yearly to download the soundware you want.
WE THINK Their Buchla series is the best way to get the sound of one of these gorgeous but esoteric beasts, short of paying five figures for the real thing. puremagnetik.com
ARTURIA ARP 2600V 2.0
RETRO REPRO REDUX
MAJOR UPGRADES New SoundMap preset browser with lots of new sounds. More CPU-efficient on Mac OS X, and better AU performance in Digital Performer. Can now use NRPN MIDI messages for automation. Presets now respond to modulation wheel. $249 list/approx. $200 street; free to registered users of version 1.x, arturia.com
RETURN OF THE V-COMBO!
THE PITCH Drawbar organ, full-key multisampled piano, vintage EP, synth, and orchestral sounds, all in one gig-essentials axe.
THE BIG DEAL Modeled drawbar and rotary section can be keyboard-split with the other, sample-based sounds. Improved amp and rotary speaker modeling. Piano has separate samples for all 76 keys. Waterfall action. XLR as well as 1/4" outs.
WE THINK At press time, we hadn’t played it yet, but we will have by the time you read this. Look for video at < ahref ="keyboardmag.com/video" target="_blank"> keyboardmag.com/video . $2,329 list, rolandus.com
VIENNA ENSEMBLE PRO
AUSTRIAN ARMY KNIFE
THE PITCH Powerful mixing host for Vienna and thirdparty instruments — now in boxed edition.
THE BIG DEAL Can combine your 64-bit and 32-bit plug-ins if desired. Either streams audio into your DAW on the same computer, or for power users, streams over Ethernet from a second computer to your DAW’s machine. Preserve function retains multi-plug-in setups across projects. Great way to use non-RTAS synths in a Pro Tools session.
WE THINK If you’re an orchestral mocker-upper or any other kind of virtual instrument hog, this is the coolest sleeper app out there. $315, vsl.co.at ; U.S. dist. by Ilio, ilio.com
BLACK ’N’ WHITES AND RED ALL OVER
THE PITCH Nord delivers a back-to-basics stage piano with superior sound and feel.
THE BIG DEAL New piano sounds include sympathetic and sustain resonance. Supports half-pedaling and true sostenuto. Weighted hammer action. 512MB of non-volatile flash memory means you can load sounds from Nord’s online Piano Library.
WE THINK If the price is right, it’ll be a hit with Nord fans who have already covered the synth and organ bases offered by their other models. $TBA, nordkeyboards.com
FURMAN P-3600 AR G
THE PITCH Voltage regulator and AC conditioner that works in any country.
THE BIG DEAL Provides a clean, stable 120V AC when plugged into any wall current — from 100V to 240V.
WE THINK A power scrubber and voltage converter in one box is great for keyboardists touring internationally with U.S.-spec gear. Smart! $TBA, furmansound.com