Author Topic: Another contender for PSR E463/Casio CT-X3000/5000 - Korg EK50  (Read 973 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline vbdx66

Another contender for PSR E463/Casio CT-X3000/5000 - Korg EK50
« on: September 10, 2018, 09:08:48 PM »
Hi guys,

Seem then PSR E463 and Casio CT-X3000 and 5000 will have some competition. Korg is launching an entry-level arranger keyboard, which is in itself an event since this company has always been positioning itself in the high-end market as far as arranger are concerned (if you except the mini-keys Micro Arranger and the Liverpool).

It is labelled Korg EK50 and seems to have interesting features for an entry-level instrument: many sounds and styles, three (!) upper voices and one lower, 64 voices of polyphony, 280 (!) styles with 4 mains, one intro, one ending, 148 DSP effects (!) to name but a few.

Watching the first official videos, what strikes me is the ergonomy if this board: it just looks great.

As compared with the Yamaha and Casio contenders, it has a big screen (well, it is not the Genos or the PA4x touchscreen but we are speaking entry level here, remember?), the buttons are lighted in red or green to indicate which function is currently being activated, there is a transpose button etc.

Watch the videos and make your own opinion, I bet there is more to come:

https://youtu.be/jlzuWtqkyVs

https://youtu.be/w8wLG0Bv3Hk

https://youtu.be/L7zvBNU3_TE

More extensive demo of some sounds and styles by Michel Deuchst:

https://youtu.be/PrlGZt2GCFU

Now of course we will need to try the real thing to decide what this keyboard really has in its guts.

Enjoy  8)

Vinciane
Past keyboards: PSR E313, PSR E413, PSR E433, PSR S550, DGX 640, upright piano.
Now: DGX 650, looking for an affordable hype portable keyboard.
 

Offline SciNote

Re: Another contender for PSR E463/Casio CT-X3000/5000 - Korg EK50
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2018, 01:59:22 AM »
Always interesting to see what else is out there.  And has Korg has been in the pro market for decades, it will be interesting to see what this keyboard is fully capable of.  However, based on the controls that I can see in the video, I do not see anything for multi-track recording or sound editing (like filter and envelope generator), but these features could be present in a sub-menu.  I'm also curious as to what the cost will be.
Bob
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
 

Offline pjd

Re: Another contender for PSR E463/Casio CT-X3000/5000 - Korg EK50
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2018, 06:42:59 PM »
I'm glad that Korg wants to compete in the entry-level market, but after listening to the demo videos, I really dislike its sound (voices and styles).

Korg insist on calling the EK-50 an "Entertainer Keyboard," not an "arranger." I don't think they want it to be associated with the (quite respectable) Pa professional arranger product line.

A chap on another forum thought it sounded better than the EW-410, so maybe my tinnitus is out of whack or something. To each their own!  :)

All the best -- pj

Offline vbdx66

Re: Another contender for PSR E463/Casio CT-X3000/5000 - Korg EK50
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2018, 10:17:12 PM »
I was also not very impressed by the sounds and styles of the EK50, but I am unsure whether it lies in the sounds themselves or on the somewhat cheesy demos . When I heard the first demos of the Casio CT-X3000, I also disliked it, but I liked much better it when I tried it in a music shop last Friday. So it might be the same for the EK50.

This keyboard is probably labelled as an entertainer keyboard because there seems to be so few editing facilities, which means that the EK50 is more meant for live performing than for producing sophisticated arrangements of songs.

What is certain is that with the PSR E463/EW410, the Casio CT-X3000 and 5000 and this Korg EK50, there has never before been such a choice of lower-end arranger keyboards with sounds and features of this quality. Yamaha has for a long time been the sole serious actor on the lower-ends arranger market because Casio keyboards were of mediocre quality and Korg was aimed only at the higher-end market. It is nice to finally see some healthy competition in this market, this could lead to some nice surprises in the near future.

Just my 2 cents,

Vinciane
Past keyboards: PSR E313, PSR E413, PSR E433, PSR S550, DGX 640, upright piano.
Now: DGX 650, looking for an affordable hype portable keyboard.
 

Offline SeaGtGruff

Re: Another contender for PSR E463/Casio CT-X3000/5000 - Korg EK50
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2018, 10:58:39 PM »
The Casio CTK and WK models are often criticized for the quality of their sounds, and having owned a CTK-710 I can certainly agree that most of its sounds were (in my opinion) inferior to the equivalent Yamaha sounds-- although the Casio did have a number of voices which I thought were quite good, including its default Acoustic Grand Piano sound.

And I've heard people say that the Casio sounds are improved by adding DSP effects and playing the keyboard through some good speakers or monitors. The same can be said of Yamaha's voices, and no doubt of any other brand-- sometimes a good deal of tweaking is required to get a sound that you're satisfied with.

I've heard some people say that Roland's voices are better-sounding than Yamaha's, and others say the opposite, often depending on which types of voices are being discussed-- acoustic piano, electric piano, drawbar organ, violin, etc.

Anyway, it's certainly true that the various brands have their own identifiable sounds, and I think that in the long run it's not so much that one brand sounds "better" or "worse" than another, but that they sound different than each other, and different people are going to form different opinions as to which brand's sounds they prefer. It's all very subjective, as can be seen when different keyboardists argue back and forth about which acoustic piano voice is the best, or which virtual piano software is the best-- each keyboardist has his or her personal favorite, and if you listen to several people talking about a specific voice or virtual instrument you might think they were talking about different ones!
Michael Rideout
Current keyboards: Yamaha YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443, PSR-EW400, MX49 BK
Current controllers: M-Audio Axiom 61-II
Previous keyboards: Farfisa Matador 611; Casio CTK-710
 

Offline Robert van Weersch

Re: Another contender for PSR E463/Casio CT-X3000/5000 - Korg EK50
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2018, 06:50:10 AM »
Feature-wise, Korg really out-performs Yamaha by miles. I own a T5 76 but also a Korg Liverpool (=microArranger). The Liverpool costs around EUR 350 (less than 1/10th of the T5) and offers, compared to Yamahas in this price range:
  • 3 right voices (Yamaha only 2)
  • 4 variations in a style (Yamaha only 3)
  • pitch/mod joystick (Yamaha used impractical mod wheels or no mod at all)
  • 1 sustain and 1 volume/switch pedal connection (Yamaha only sustain)
  • Far more control over voices and styles, although that comes at a price (complexity)
  • Performances (=banks/registrations) selectable through MIDI commands (Yamaha only does this for the S775/975 and T2-T5)
The EK50 resembles the microArranger when it comes to features (except for the extra switch connection) and has full sized keys instead of micro-keys. Looking at the screenshots, I get the impression that Korg has changed its "performaces" method to something which resembles banks/registrations, which in my opinion would be a good move, because the Korg system is far from intuitive.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 06:52:05 AM by Robert van Weersch »
---
Yamaha Tyros 5 76
Korg Liverpool (microArranger)
 

Offline SciNote

Re: Another contender for PSR E463/Casio CT-X3000/5000 - Korg EK50
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2018, 08:25:26 AM »
Feature-wise, Korg really out-performs Yamaha by miles. I own a T5 76 but also a Korg Liverpool (=microArranger). The Liverpool costs around EUR 350 (less than 1/10th of the T5) and offers, compared to Yamahas in this price range:
  • 3 right voices (Yamaha only 2)
  • 4 variations in a style (Yamaha only 3)
  • pitch/mod joystick (Yamaha used impractical mod wheels or no mod at all)
  • 1 sustain and 1 volume/switch pedal connection (Yamaha only sustain)
  • Far more control over voices and styles, although that comes at a price (complexity)
  • Performances (=banks/registrations) selectable through MIDI commands (Yamaha only does this for the S775/975 and T2-T5)
The EK50 resembles the microArranger when it comes to features (except for the extra switch connection) and has full sized keys instead of micro-keys. Looking at the screenshots, I get the impression that Korg has changed its "performaces" method to something which resembles banks/registrations, which in my opinion would be a good move, because the Korg system is far from intuitive.

The Microarranger does seem to have a lot of capability, but it does have mini-keys, which limits its functionality.  Based on what I've seen concerning both the Microarranger and the EK50 (which is, admittedly, not that much), it looks like the EK50 will have significantly less capability than the Microarranger (not factoring in the size of the keys), though the videos suggest that it will have an impressive sound.

As for older Casios, I have a CTK-691, which was new in 2003.  I haven't used it much recently, but that thing is loaded with features and has a very good sound.  It has a synth editing mode for the voices, slots for 100 user voices, drawbar organ mode (though done exclusively through menu buttons, not actual sliders), and quite a few voices and styles.  It also has a mixer with two upper and two lower voices.  However, it does have some serious limitations.  Most notably, there is no way to store a registration without style settings or to freeze the style settings when switching registrations.  This means, as you select different registrations for different sound patches, you also get different styles at the same time.  And while it has a 6-track sequencer, it has the same limitation as the 16 solo tracks on the new Casios -- only one main voice per track can be recorded.  For these reasons, I mainly used it as an auxiliary keyboard.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 08:28:33 AM by SciNote »
Bob
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
 

Offline Robert van Weersch

Re: Another contender for PSR E463/Casio CT-X3000/5000 - Korg EK50
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2018, 08:59:23 AM »
The Microarranger does seem to have a lot of capability, but it does have mini-keys, which limits its functionality.
I guess that would be very personal. I have quite slender fingers and can play those mini keys just as well as normal keys. I can even do some tricks (e.g. bigger range for chords) which are not possible with normal keys. But soundwise, both voices and styles, it is too limited for me to use in a serious way. But it is so much fun to play :)
---
Yamaha Tyros 5 76
Korg Liverpool (microArranger)
 

Offline pjd

Re: Another contender for PSR E463/Casio CT-X3000/5000 - Korg EK50
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2018, 03:14:32 PM »
I'm not a mini-key fan, but have arrived at a separate peace with the Reface YC and MicroKorg XL+. The YC is sooooo portable and it's like taking a trumpet case to rehearsal. The MicroKorg XL+ is just as small and perches in the small space next to my every day PC. Nobody wants to walk around a full sized keyboard in the dining room.  :o  ;)

I'd like to see more innovation in the entry-level space. Even though I didn't like its keybed, the Roland GO:KEYS sound engine is quite good and the phrase-based approach to backing is unique in the low-cost market.

Innovate, innovate, innovate!

-- pj
 

Offline vbdx66

Re: Another contender for PSR E463/Casio CT-X3000/5000 - Korg EK50
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2018, 08:09:38 PM »
Hi pj,

Actually, on the Casio CT-X3000 and 5000, you have four phrase Pads in which you can records 25 sets of four phrases, each long from 2 to 16 measures. You can activate and deactivate each phrase separately or together with others, as well as loop them if you want. Of course, you can record your own phrases. You can even record arpeggio patterns in them.

I am eager for my CT-X3000 to arrive (probably tomorrow) to try out this function at length.  8)

Regards,

Vinciane
Past keyboards: PSR E313, PSR E413, PSR E433, PSR S550, DGX 640, upright piano.
Now: DGX 650, looking for an affordable hype portable keyboard.