Keyboards in this price range often don’t offer too much when it comes to the number of keys or how they feel. Fortunately, this is one of the advantages of this keyboard, as it is one primarily meant for beginners. Using the company’s Graded Soft Touch technology, the keyboard will give any player the feeling that he or she is playing a real piano.
What does this mean? In pianos, each key has its own weight, and keys react differently when you press them. You will have a different response when you press a key producing a high note – it will feel light, compared to keys that are meant to produce lower sounds. This is because, in the piano, each key is attached to hammers that hit sets of strings.
The strings in the lower register, those that produce lower notes, are thicker, and thus need a more powerful hammer to hit them. That’s why the keys that action those hammers will have a heavier action. Well, the same feeling needs to be recreated in quality keyboards. You will notice that entry-level keyboards often don’t offer resistance when pressing the keys.
However, with the YPG-535, the keys have their resistance, and they don’t spring right back to their initial position like in really cheap keyboards. Furthermore, the keys found on the lower end of the spectrum will be heavier to touch than those that produced high-pitched notes.
Let’s not forget that the keyboard includes all the 88 keys that you would normally find on an acoustic piano. However, the keys aren’t fully weighted, like those of a piano, but semi-weighted, meaning that they use a combination of spring mechanisms and weights to give the impression of a real piano.
Although this is not the ideal way to provide a weighted feel to the keys, it is nonetheless great for a keyboard in this category. You can find way more expensive keyboards that don’t feel so authentic when played. This graded action is what helps beginners have a better sense of how a real piano should work.
So if you’re a beginner and you’re looking forward to moving on to a piano later on in your career, a keyboard like this is great. Another important thing to notice about the keys is the fact that they are touch-sensitive, meaning that the harder you hit them, the louder the sound. Just like the acoustic piano.Buy from Amazon.com for ($549.99)
It’s a pity that this keyboard only has 32-note polyphony, taking into account the quality keys and the many sounds it can provide. This is a disappointing thing, especially because the keyboard has a lot of features and different sounds that you can use for music-making, but with only a 32-note polyphony, you will be limited in your creations.
You have the Dual Mode that you can use to layer two sounds and to create complex pieces, but you will quickly run out of memory and you won’t be able to reproduce all the sounds. You need at least 64 notes for that.
Main features explained
An interesting aspect of the YPG-535 is the fact that it comes with 30 songs of its own and another 70 on a CD that you can playback. This allows you to learn each of them with the help of the Lesson Mode that the keyboard has. Furthermore, the device also comes with a Performance Assistant feature that will help you keep track of your progress.
The keyboard will show you the scores of the songs so that you have no problem reading and playing them. You can also get the lyrics to the songs displayed if they come with lyrics. The educational software also lets you use the songs to learn to play on either hand, left or right, or if you want to use the songs for both-hand lessons.
You can also download a large number of MIDI songs from the internet, either on your computer or another device, and then transfer those on the internal memory of the keyboard. This will enlarge the library and allow you to practice different genres.
There are three lessons in the Yamaha Education Suite that the keyboard will offer you. For those, you can choose the part of the song that you want to practice, be it the left-hand or the right-hand part. Then there is the Performance Assistant mode that will fill in the notes for you. If you miss a note, this thing will play it for you. You can also choose where you want the assistant to help you and where not.
A great deal of importance should be put on sound, especially when it comes to keyboards like this. The instrument uses advanced AWM stereo sampling technology, the type that you usually find in higher-end Yamaha instruments. This should mean that the sound is the one of an acoustic piano.
In fact, the sound samples used by this keyboard are parts of acoustic piano samples recorded at different volumes. This helps with the touch sensitivity bit when the keyboard reacts depending on how hard you press a key. Furthermore, the number of voices and instruments found in this keyboard is impressive.
You have a library of 500 internal sounds, amongst which 127 sounds that you can access from the main panel, an additional 12 drum or SFX effect kits, and 361 XGlite sounds. Thus, in terms of versatility, this keyboard delivers a lot. The keyboard offers you 8 types of piano sounds, which is more than many other instruments can give you.
The SFX kits are also interesting, as they give you different effects that you can play with, especially if you are composing some wild music. You get sounds like running water, dogs barking, lightning striking and many other strange noises. In the features section, you also have the possibility to layer more than one sound, and this will create very interesting effects.
We should also mention that there are 9 types of reverb that you can use to make the instrument feel like you are performing in a big hall, or a stage, depending on your preferences.
This keyboard offers enough when it comes to connection possibilities, as it has 5 different ports that you can use to couple it with eternal devices. All of these ports are located on the rear panel of the keyboard, so you don’t have issues with cables annoying you when you play.
The ¼-inch jack can be used to plug in some headphones, and this will help you when you want to keep things quiet. This will also allow you to connect the instrument to a phone or tablet if you want to transfer some information between the devices. Because the YPG-535 doesn’t have a special line output for an amplifier, you will need to use the same jack if you want to connect a pair of speakers to the device.
Although the keyboard doesn’t come with MIDI in our out ports, you will be able to use the USB port to safely transfer songs and MIDI data from a computer to the keyboard. You don’t have a USB cable in the package that you receive with a keyboard, but any USB type B cable will work. One small disadvantage is the fact that you will have to install the driver for the USB connection yourself, but that comes with the CD, or you can download it from Yamaha’s website.
The main advantage of connecting the keyboard to a computer is the fact that you will then be able to use it as a MIDI controller and thus compose music as you want.
When playing this instrument you will have the possibility to enrich your experience with the help of the auto accompaniment function. This keyboard gives you 160 separate accompaniment styles that each come with a combination of different instruments. This will give you the impression that you are playing with a real-life orchestra or band.
Interestingly enough, depending on the notes you play, the accompaniment changes, so it feels natural. Even if you play single notes, you will still hear a backing track that will suit the notes you play. When playing with both hands you will “direct” the orchestra with your left hand and play the melody with your right hand.
There is also a metronome function that will serve as a good tool to help you practice keeping the rhythm. You will be able to adjust the tempo, the volume of the metronome and the beats per minute.
You don’t have to tune the keyboard, because it all works digitally, but you will be able to adjust the pitch of the instrument according to your needs. If you want to play a song in a higher register to suit your voice, you can do that. With the Transpose function, you will have the possibility to lower or raise the pitch of the whole keyboard. You can do that in semitone increments.
With the tuning function, you can adjust the pitch of the instrument in 100 increments for every 1 semitone, which is amazing.Buy from Amazon.com for ($549.99)