Our guide to the Kurzweil SP1
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Our guide to the Kurzweil SP1

“You canna change the laws of physics” a famous Scottish Starship Engineer once claimed. And the same could be said about keyboards - how could you have a full 88 note weighted keyboard that was actually portable ? Well, Kurzweil seem to have achieved this with their current Stage Pianos, the SP6 and the SP1. Weighing in at only 12kg, these truly are portable 88 note weighted keyboards.

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The SP1 is the latest addition to the range and is a streamlined version of the SP6. It is aimed at a complete ‘hands on’ approach with no menus and a simple front panel layout that makes it incredibly easy to navigate.

Kurzweil have cherry picked 16 great sounds from their amazing catalogue of instruments and arranged them in four easy to use sections on the front panel:

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Pianos - four acoustic pianos based on the Artis German Grand D piano

Keyboards - Electric Pianos, Clav & Organ sounds taken from the Forte

Strings/Pads - Yep, two String and two Pad sounds

Other - Winds, Brass and two Bass sounds taken from the PC3

Each section has its own volume control which makes it easy to mix your sounds, especially when using the Layer or Split functions to combine any two of the 16 sounds together.

The simple effects section allows you to select an effect such as reverb, chorus, delay or tremelo and control the amount applied to your sound with the value dial.

An onboard 3 Band EQ section is particularly useful to quickly tweak a sound in a live situation or just simply to fine tune a sound you are creating.

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If you want to use the SP1 as a controller keyboard, then it also features a dedicated External Section to control an external instrument or a virtual instrument via midi, either across USB or standard midi ports. The External section can send Program change messages or Volume control message to the external device. The dedicated midi Local button is colour coded making it very easy to see how the keyboard is sending midi:

  • LED off = Local + Midi
  • LED Green = Local only
  • LED Red = Midi only (Local off)

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The SP1 also has some very neat additional features:

Firstly, it has audio inputs so you can route a backing track or a song you need to practice with, straight into the keyboard. This is sent to the headphones and the audio outputs so is useful for either live solo playing or for practicing at home.

Secondly, if you are looking at a weighted Piano to start learning piano on, then the SP1 has a ‘Dual’ mode which splits the keyboard into two zones but puts both zones in the same octave. This is ideal for piano lessons as the tutor can play one half of the keyboard whilst the student plays the other half and both are playing the same notes.

When you have set up a sound to your personal requirements, you can save it in the Favourites section, simply by pressing the Save button and choosing any of the five Favourites buttons so your sound is always there for instant recall.

All in all, the SP1 is great value for money and has lots of really neat features but is very easy to use. This, coupled with the 12Kg weight makes it ideal for the home player, schools/students, light gigs or recording.

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To find out more about Kurzweil & SP1, please visit our product page:


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This new blog is presented by the team at Sound Technology Ltd, a leading distributor of musical instruments and pro audio equipment in the UK and ROI.