One of the most impressive things about the DGX 660 is the fact that it comes with 554 voices, so you basically have an immense list of pianos in one instrument. Amongst these, there is a set of unique piano sounds called the “Piano Room”. Accessing this “room” only requires you to press a button and you will be able to use any kind of piano sound you want.
For those that want to personalize the sound even more, Yamaha offers that with this keyboard. Apart from the Piano Room you also get to choose the environment in which the sound is created, the virtual space at least, and for that, you can have a concert hall, a recital, stage, room, or none at all. This increased the versatility of the sound furthermore.
As you can expect, these are different kinds of reverbs that give a certain feel to the instrument when played. You can even choose between four kinds of pianos, from a grand piano to a pop, warm grand, and honky-tonk one, as the instrument labels them. There is also a “detail” function that lets you choose how the piano you chose responds in terms of touch, resonance, and even modify its tuning.Buy from Amazon.com for ($799.99)
The aspect where Yamaha could have done better with this instrument is regarding how customizable the sounds are, and the main sounds provided by the keyboard don’t offer much in that regard. The main lead sounds are decent, but you can’t do too many diverse things with them.
When discussing not-so-good sounds, the solo orchestral instrument voices are not done in a convincing manner. Some of them have too much vibrato and that doesn’t sound realistic. That is also an issue with the voices of brasswind instruments that the keyboard offers. When playing stringed instrument sounds, the keyboard puts vibratos where they shouldn’t ever be, such as the low G of a violin, which is an open string in usual play.
That is the reason why using these basic sounds for making mockups of orchestral compositions is either a very bad idea or an impractical one. If you really want to do that, it is better if you choose to do it with some well-selected samples, or if you use other pieces of software that will help you compose music.
With that being said, if you don’t have the need to replicate orchestral solo instruments such as violins, cellos, or even trumpets, or clarinets, this keyboard will still perform well.
Main features explained
The instrument comes with a neat song audio section that lets you do more with the instrument than you would expect. For example, you can use the keyboard to record your own songs. Furthermore, you have the possibility to connect a flash drive to the instrument and then use that as a sample generator, to add some pieces of songs while you play and record on the keyboard.
In this section, you also have the style library, which is supposed to offer you the possibility to choose between many styles of music over which you can play. So you get a beat or a tempo over which you can play the keys, resulting in a beautiful song. There are many different drum beats that you can use, and each of them allows you to add a “fill” to them, which is something that ads a bit of flair to the tempo.
Choosing a specific genre from the ones offered will allow you to set the tempo and then give a starting chord that would serve as an accompaniment. This will let you improvise on top of what you started. Alternatively, it will help a beginner by presenting him or her with some possible ideas about how a song should sound.
One new feature that has been added to the keyboard is the fact that it can now work with an iPad and it does that in a unique fashion. You can download a chord tracker app on your iPad, and then choose a song you wish from your iTunes list. The chord tracker will automatically transform that song into a series of chords that will also appear on the pad’s screen.
Just from the recording, the app will generate a chord chart. You may have to modify it to suit your needs, but the most interesting thing about this is the fact that you can send the chord chart to the instrument by pressing a simple button. You can even select the tempo at which you want it to be played and the drumbeat over which it is played.
You can even select in which category based on the ones the keyboard offers, you can put this in. It will even recommend the category for you. Once you send the song to the keyboard it will show up on the main display in the list, and when you press play, the instrument will actually play the chords of that song.
Another distinct characteristic of this keyboard is the fact that it allows you to use a microphone with it. You can plug the mic in and use it to perform a song while you also play the keyboard. The interesting thing is that the microphone has its own whole section where you can adjust its settings.
Although you may opt to always have the microphone connected to the instrument, you can choose to turn it on or off. There are also certain presets that you can work with, including the fact that you can modify the EQ, changing the frequencies. You can opt to make the sound of the microphone a brighter one, or a louder one if you feel the need to do so.
The settings also allow you to pan the sound of the mic from left to right, meaning that you can “place” the stereo on any side of the room you want. There is also a reverb effect that you can apply, as we all know music, especially that coming out of a singer’s mouth, sounds way better with reverb. There is also a noise-canceling feature that will reduce the fuzziness that you can usually hear in a mic.Buy from Amazon.com for ($799.99)