Casio Privia Digital Pianos: Everything You Need to Know

We were pleased to have Rich Formidoni from Casio in the Sam Ash Studio to give us a rundown of the Casio Privia line of Digital Pianos. He gave us all of the ins and outs as well as some fantastic playing examples. First up was the Privia PX-350 Check it out below!

Casio Privia PX-350: The Overview

The Specs

What do we want out of our digital pianos? Variety of instruments, and great sound, right? The PX-350 has 250 sounds, and 180 rhythms to choose from. The sounds range from acoustic pianos to electric pianos, strings, and more. Casio’s AiR technology (Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator) gives its acoustics that sweet authentic sound. On top of that, the damper resonant simulator simulates the sound of the strings interacting with the tailpiece of an acoustic piano.

The piano feature a tri-sensor scaled hammer action II keyboard. This means they are heavier on the bottom keys and lighter on the top keys and they have a simulated ebony and ivory texture. This is great for humid environments like outdoor gigs. If your hands start to sweat, you’ll still have a good grip on the keys. The split feature lets you have different sounds in your left and right hands. Want to play a nice Latin jam? Maybe throw an upright bass in the left and a solid piano in the right. You can also layer sounds in each hand for some really cool larger ensemble effects. Another great feature (especially for students and teachers) is duet mode. This gives you 2 full pitch ranges on the piano. And all of this will sound great out of the powerful built in speakers.

One of the best features of this piano is that it is less than 30 pounds – very easy to carry around from gig to gig. It also features 2×1/4″ outputs. This lets you run your sound out to a mixer or recording device. Speaking of recording, there’s a 17 track recorder built right into the piano. So, you can create incredible songs and mixes without any other software or gear. You can then save your work as a 2 channel wave file with a usb drive in the front panel. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use this piano in a more controlled studio setting with your favorite DAW. The class compliant USB port lets you use your digital piano as a master controller. No hassle with drivers. Just plug it in, and it works.

 

 

Rich went on to show us the awesome. Casio Privia PX-160. This one is a little more stripped down, but still has all of the most essential features. Check it out below!

Casio Privia PX-160: The Overview

 

A great piano sound and feel without breaking the bank, or your back…

Rich Formidoni, Casio

The Specs

The Privia PX-160 is similar to the 350 with only a few things taken away. This digital piano features beautiful authentic acoustic piano sounds, electric piano sounds, and others. AiR is back as well as the damper resonance simulator. So, you’ll still get that amazing sound of the strings interacting with the tailpiece of an acoustic piano. We still have the tri-sensor scaled hammer action II keyboard for authentic play and feel. The function button on this piano makes choosing your sounds, layering and splitting a very simple process. Duet mode is back for obtaining 2 equal pitch ranges on the keyboard. And all of this will sound great from the power and quality of the built in speakers.

This piano is still less than 30 pounds with 1/4″ line outputs. This is great for the gigging musicians who need to carry it around and want to send the signal out to a mixer or recording device. It’s got the class compliant USB port for use as a controller with your favorite studio DAW. It also has a 2 channel recorder built in for songwriters who may not have access to software or gear.

Concluding with the Differences

Casio’s Privia line is a spectacular example of what digital pianos should be. They look great, they’re lightweight, and they sound beautiful. The 350 gives you all of the bells and whistles with a 17 track recorder and WAV file export via USB drive as well as a huge library of sounds and rhythms. On the other hand, the 160 strips things down to the essential library and only offers 2 channel recording, and no USB exporting but at a lower price point.

The choice is yours. How important is built in recording and exporting to you? How will you be using the keyboard? All in studio with your DAW, or always on the go gigging? Is a huge library of sound important to you? Only, you can know. But the best part about all of this is that there really is no wrong answer. You’ll be happy either way.

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Dave Stutts
Dave Stutts is a native of the greater Hampton Roads area of Virginia. He received his Bachelors of Music degree in Theory & Composition from the prestigious Christopher Newport University music school. He is a music composer living and working in New York City. He specializes in orchestral/symphonic work as well as pop and digital music. His scoring work has ranged from Chamber Ensemble pieces (String Quartets/Brass Quintets), larger ensembles compositions (Wind Ensemble/Symphony Orchestra/String Orchestra), as well as short film and video game work.He is also a songwriter and a regular gigging musician in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. He refers to his style as Pop/Rock and Blues. His musical career began when he started playing guitar at age 5. He later progressed to Bass in middle school, Drums in High School, and finally Percussion and Piano in college. When asked, he has cited Michael Giacchino, Hans Zimmer, and John Williams as his major film and video game inspirations, and John Mayer as his primary pop inspiration.