Yamaha PSR-170 61-Key Portable Electronic Keyboard – Product Review:
The Yamaha PSR170AD is a dream-come-true for piano students. It would be hard not to learn at least basic keyboard skills while using this model. The user-friendly LCD display shows permanent bass and treble clefs and has a small virtual keyboard. As a song played or we plunked at the keyboard, the notes were instantly displayed. At first we felt that this was a novelty feature, but as we moved into the lessons, we could see that it can be helpful to see the staff and notes.
While we were playing random chords to see what they looked like on the bass clef, we noticed that the keys are not sensitive to touch. We could bang on the keys like Jerry Lee Lewis or caress them like Yanni and the volume never changed. Though this may throw an experienced keyboardist for a loop, it might also be useful to the novice, who won’t have to worry about volume control.
The PSR170AD is equipped with the Yamaha Education Suite feature. This feature walks you through seven lessons at your own pace. The lessons are a blur at first, but the fact that the keyboard will repeat them as many times as you want allows you to run them over and over again until you become comfortable. The lessons can be done using the 100 voices and styles that come on the PSR170AD. This was particularly enjoyable, as we would have been bored while practicing without a little variety. It comes with 100 prerecorded songs–some we never heard before, some we can’t forget. You can play along with any of them anytime.
Yamaha lets you have fun away from the lessons and learning with the DJ Mode. The DJ Mode has groovy voice and music samples you can use to play along with a prerecorded funky dance riff or to create your own. If you’re like us, it may take you a while to get back to the serious side of the keyboard. As a MIDI compatible keyboard, the PSR170AD can connect to a sequencer or computer via MIDI cables (sold separately), both of which can record musical performances from the keyboard and then play them back using the instrument voices on the PSR170AD. This is great for adding it to an ensemble and using the keyboard to lay down tracks while recording.
Overall, this keyboard impressed us most by how well designed it was for the music student. It comes with just enough functions for learning the basics and not so many that you get bogged down in menus. The keyboard isn’t all about learning, though. We plugged it in right out of the box and had a toe-tapping good time.
Yamaha PSR-170 61-Key Portable Electronic Keyboard – Product Description:
Yamaha PSR-170AD 61-Key Portable Electronic Keyboard with AC Adapter
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