March 10 2009

Yamaha PSR S 550B – At last!

After M2 (Mahi-Meha) and M3rd (their Mom), here’s M4th of my life – Musical instrument. :)

My last keyboard was acquired way back in 1987 for 6,000/- I enjoyed it for almost 13-14 years. I still have that keyboard. But some keys are broken, some controls are mal-functioning, tones and styles (rhythms) have started sounding funny. In short, I stopped enjoying it long back.

I had decided that I will not make any compromises. I will wait and wait and wait, but will take the best! I waited for over 6 years for a right opportunity, but at last bought this black beauty – Yamaha PSR S 550 B keyboard :cool: It costed 40k. But I know its definitely worth it!

It’s a beautiful black-coloured entry level keyboard for professionals. The user manual calls it Digital Workstation. I am not a professional musician (so far!). Yamaha PSR S-550-B Keyboard / Digital Workstation So this is the best I could have wished for as a non-professional. It has plenty of realistic tones (voices), rhythmes (styles), options and features. I can create custom styles and save them in in-built memory. If that memory is not sufficient, I can connect it to my laptop or use a USB pen-drive to store those styles and music that I create.

It has a 64 note polyphony and capability to record 16 track music pieces. So I can create full songs with background music and chords and store 5 such full songs in the memory.

There are 64 memory slots to save custom selections. That helps in live performances. There are 61 keys (5 octaves) with touch-response. I can shift the octave up-down by 2. So in effect there are 7 octaves. The bright and clear LCD display gives enough information of current settings.

There are so many settings and so many options that currently I am over-whelmed! 294 voices, 176 ready made styles (including Bhajan and Bhangara, although I miss Dandiya), drum & SFX kits and digital effects. Add to that the variations. There are plenty of options. More than playing music, I am currently learning how to use this electronic musical marvel.

Getting this also has a humbling feeling. It made me more aware of my limitations. Now I know that if there is some piece of music that I can’t reproduce in this black beauty, the limitation is mine and not of the instrument in hand! There is a lot of music to learn, there are a lot of concepts to understand. It’s a long way to go, I have just re-started the journey – once again after a gap of 8 years!

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