The Yamaha PSR E453 is a 61 key portable keyboard that is geared towards the beginners but still has surprisingly strong features that takes it to the next level. This review is from a beginner’s point of view and how this keyboard can still be used for music production.
It’s a beautiful looking all black instrument. The finish is matte black plastic with a glass covered LCD display in the center. The top half slants down towards you so that you get a good look at the buttons and the LCD screen while sitting and playing. The bottom half has straight full-sized 61 keys but bear in mind, they are non-weighted keys. Now if you’re not into playing a real piano and want to use this for sound mixing and stuff, then it’s not a problem.
The upper half has the LCD in the center flanked by all the controls and two speakers at the either end that are covered by a mesh. The layout is really simplified and easy for beginners to get a hang of it. The left part is for controlling the sound and the right part is the actual sound, the voices, songs, DJ and patterns.
Talking about the controls, the master volume is a smoothly rotating knob that is located on the left. There are controls next to it for arpeggio, harmony, dual and split and more controls at the top for metronome and recording. There’s learning function for beginners that let’s you play along with a song and learn better and also a dictionary function that shows chords and scales and stuffs. I came from playing guitar so I didn’t use this function too much, but might be useful for a complete beginner.
The right part consists of a knob to quickly traverse through the voices and sounds and also through the other functions. But if you already know the number for a particular voice, you can use the numpad too that’s next to it.
This keyboard allows you to record up to 6 tracks that is great for someone who wants play along with a backing track or learn about how playing in a band feels like. For advance recording, you can connect it as midi device to a laptop or PC and record audio through a recording software.
One of the surprising feature of this keyboard is the accurate sound. Accurate sound is very difficult to find in a relatively cheap keyboard but even the piano sound is close to a real grand piano. Of course, original instruments will have way better sound and feel than electronic ones, but it’s quite close to real on this keyboard and can be used for compositions. Even if the sound didn’t feel right, you can always tune to the way you like.
It has 758 high quality voices and 220 styles that you can use to create your own compositions. If you are into EDM then there are DJ patterns that allow you to practice chords and beats in that genre.
There are many more features like live effects like reverb and chorus that are more pro level and need a little bit of leaning to use them. But all-in-all, this is a great keyboard from Yamaha that is advertised for beginners but packs much more. Being a guitar player, I am really happy buying the PSR E453 as it has a low learning curve and the ability to create my own compositions. Sure, I’ll buy a more advanced and high-quality digital piano if I’m planning to get serious into music but the E453 is a great start. The only thing to learn now, is.. to actually play the piano with both hands.