Korg’s Brand New PA4x Keyboard
Korg’s new PA4x keyboard may be an arranger type instrument with lots of auto accompaniments, but is also a very strong contender for being a great gigging instrument if you are in a band.
Why is the Korg PA4x so good for gigging band musicians?
For a keyboard to be the main keyboard on stage, there are three important attributes to consider:
1. Sound Quality
2. Keyboard Action
3. Ease of use (operating system & panel button layout)
PA4x Sound Quality
As a keyboard player in the band, we need access to great sounds QUICKLY. Imagine the scenario – you are in a rehearsal and the singer suggests a particular song they want to add to the set. Very often, keyboard players rely upon the preset sounds as a starting point, and then tweak these to suit their need for specific songs.
The Korg PA4x has a wealth of preset patches (individual sounds, layers & keyboard split sounds) that have been programmed by a team of sound designers from all over the world – who all specialize in specific genres of music. This means the preset patches are the very best they can be – right out of the box. In particular, the pianos, organs, brass and string patches are very strong.
It’s possible to layer up to four sounds on top of each other, or split the keyboard and have three sounds on the right and one on the left. It is very handy that each of the sound parts has its own dedicated volume slider located on the top left of the keyboard, and it is also very easy to switch individual sound parts on and off using the part select buttons.
If you need to get into more complex editing, the Korg PA4x features a full-blown synth engine with some extremely detailed sound design functions
Safe to say, the sounds in the Korg PA4X are ideal for all music genre band work including the most powerful Indian Sounds, and the keyboard player has the added advantage of having an automatic accompaniment machine on board for those solo or duo gigs.
Korg PA4x Keyboard Action
The key action on both the 61 key and 76 models is a high quality synth key action. It is not weighted, but it has the feel of quality about it, unlike budget keyboards such as the Yamaha MOXF6, Korg Krome or Roland EA-7.
The PA4x keyboard works nicely with the excellent concert grand piano sound and is satisfying to play, and not too heavy for those synth lead lines or solo instrumental sections. The Concert guitar sound responds like a dream to this key action.
The Korg PA4x features a set of digital drawbars for a very good recreation of tonewheel organ style sounds, and the keyboard responds nicely to glissandos. Blues or rock band players would probably wish to opt for a Nord Electro 5 or Nord Stage 2EX model, but the organ sounds in this beauty are above average in their authenticity and good for occasional use where required.
Korg PA4x Operating System
The operating system on the Korg PA4x brings a bright, new fresh approach to Korg’s previous offerings. It is a bright, full colour TFT touch screen and seems to be responsive enough to use on stage. The screen layout will be familiar to owners of previous Korg instruments such as the PA800, PA3x, etc. but the whole operating environment feels more polished than that found on these older models.
It is nice to see that Korg have still kept many hardware buttons and sliders on the PA4x, rather than cutting costs and going for the cheaper option of making most functions available on the screen only. There are lots of sliders and buttons, but you can also use the touchscreen to increase/decrease specific values, etc if required.
Korg have incorporated their famous “setlist” mode for gigging musicians. This allows the player to organize lists of patches in the correct order for certain gigs, and is something that we welcome with open arms. This feature was first found on the Kronos Series of instruments and with it on board the PA4x, this now really bridges the gap between a professional arranger and a professional workstation.
All in all, the PA4x will be at home in most keyboard players’ rigs – ideal for solo/duo work, but equally suited to being your go-to keyboard in a function / pop band scenario.
Come, See and Experience Live, the Korg PA4x at our stores in JVPD-Mumbai, Koramangla-Bengluru or Lajpath Nagar-New Delhi. Mail me on [email protected] for further details.