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Casio WK 7600 Keyboard Review
I have been a keyboard player most of my life and have never really had one that was of any professional quality simply because they are usually sold at a pretty high price. I have had many low quality keyboards in the past that did not offer many features or very good sounds. Then I found the Casio WK-7600. For just under $500.00 I was immediately impressed with the features and the sound. There is quite a learning curve to this unit as it is loaded with options that are found on very expensive and high end units.
Why isThis a Better Keyboard?
Casio has certainly upped their game with this keyboard. First let's talk about the sleek design. Casio has gone as far as re-designing the keys to better replicate real feel. Although the keys are not hammer weighted, they have added more tension to the springs to allow less mistakes. If you are a seasoned player, you know what I am talking about. The feel alone is quickly noticed when you've used other keyboard/synthesizers with touch sensitive keys. Touch sensitivity is also customizable on this unit. With inputs for instrument and microphone it can be used to record a full arrangement to the SD card. I normally use the metronome to free style record but it also boasts a pattern sequencer which, to be honest, I don't know much about but will definitely update as I learn more. I just haven't used it much.
I can only describe the screen as a soft light glow LED. It is a truly professionally designed screen. Although it is not a touch screen, you will immediately notice the difference compared to lesser models of Casio's line of keyboards.
Tons of Effects
Programmable DSP effects can be used for any sound font. There are preset effects which all can be customized.
The digital recorder is quite impressive. If you have any experience in digital recording, you will be impressed with the capability of the WK-7600. It gives you 17 tracks not to mention that you can merge and bounce tracks as well making it nearly limitless. Features such as pan, punch in/out make editing relatively easy.
There is a "Function" button, similar to holding down like an "alt", or "ctrl" key which gives numerous options for editing. This particular part of the unit is the heart of the song sequencer, editing process and recording. All arrangements can be saved to SD card.
Instrument and Mic going through the Keyboard
About the Video
So all the drums, bass and electric guitar were pre-recorded on the keyboard. I didn't edit any of the sound fonts. Casio has really stepped up the sound fonts as well on this keyboard. If you play just an electric guitar sound alone on the keyboard, it sounds good, but really it needs to mixed in as a whole with other sounds and instruments and it then sounds excellent. The Harmonies on the vocals are from my vocal harmonizer which I paid a fortune for, but the out is being sent to the keyboard through the mic input. Guitar is being sent into the instrument input. Line out to the mixer, mixer to GoPro. I like that there is both a left and right line output on the keyboard, as well as a headphone out. Before anyone comments about the harmonies, yes I know it was set too high, Also I think the GoPro added compression to the sound input. Humming was from the cheap mic I used.(I should have used the studio mic) but whatevs
Full Draw-Bar Organ
Most of the demo videos that I've seen for the WK 7600 taunt the full Draw-bar organ. If you look at the full picture of the keyboard, you will see all of the EQ style sliders on the left side of the keyboard. These are the actual "Draw Bars". This is something that I, myself am probably not going to use very often, but for those interested in the ultimate organ, then this is definitely for you! I have, for kicks and giggles, tried the Draw Bar Organ feature and although it is something that I will not use very often, I was very impressed with the sound. I have been in churches that have outstanding sound and this is customizable to replicate sounds like this. Definite thumbs up on the Draw-Bar organ feature
Is This a Good Keyboard for Beginners?
Well... You plug it in and can start playing immediately. BUT... Why spend this kind of money for a keyboard that barely any of the functions will be used? Great sound samples and sound fonts are all digital. In less expensive models, the replica sound of a piano, or stereo grand piano is going to sound the same. If you are just learning how to play then there is no reason to purchase a more expensive keyboard with all kinds of features. So, in short, NO, this is not a good keyboard for beginners (unless money is no object, then it's fine) but it's not going to make a person or child play better or learn faster. This unit is best for musicians who are familiar with digital recording. So, really if you are looking to learn just how to play a piano, personally I would buy a simple digital piano. Those actually have real feel, hammer weighted keys.