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Talent is not the only ingredient to succeed in the journey of violin playing. It takes patience, a lot of practice, and reliable violin books to inspire and guide you on training. Although there may be various methods for learning the instrument, books can help you answer any specific questions about playing as well as […]

The post Best Violin Books: A Must Have List for Beginners and Advanced Violinists appeared first on Consordini.com.

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Referred Links Ukulele: Mahalo Soprano Ukulele Video Transcription Hi guys and welcome to our channel. My name is Alanzhelon and today I want to speak about Mahalo Soprano Ukulele or to be more precise, I want to present it. That’s why I’m going to put the accent on the main features, and also play and […]

The post Mahalo Soprano Ukulele Review + Cover of the Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men appeared first on Consordini.com.

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Video Transcription Well guys, welcome to Consordini.com. My name is Dmitry. I’m a sound engineer and music making teacher. In the music production world it’s hard to find the person completely unfamiliar with RME brand. Founded in 1996 that hardware Production Company got its reputation for making reliable products and providing essential audio quality. In […]

The post RME Babyface Pro Audio Interface Review appeared first on Consordini.com.

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Video Transcription Hey guys what’s up, producer and engineer Alex Scott here with Consordini.com and I have a really cool new piece of studio gear that I would love for you guys to check out. I’ll tell you a little bit about it, it is the TC Electronic TC2290-DT, now this is a really cool […]

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There is something about getting your hands on drum sticks and keeping the beat, with some amazing fills. However, it is really not as fun unless you play along with some of the best drum songs to date. If you are a beginning player, not every drum song is catered to you. That is why […]

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As a music lover myself, I know that finding the best gift to wrap this holiday season is quite as challenging as mastering a piece of music. The selection can range from accessories, books, cd’s, practice gears or equipment and a lot more. However, as hard as it can be, giving a gift that can […]

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Are you a musician, singer, or do you have dreams of being able to make your own music through music production?

Not sure where to start?

This guide is your one-stop place for learning how to set up your own home recording studio and get started making music.

Here’s what you will learn in this guide:

Starting out as a beginner, you may have various questions about home studio essentials, how to make a home studio, or even just how to record music at home.

Obviously the biggest concern for a lot people who want to make a DIY recording studio is the price.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Recording Studio?

A good home studio can be built for around $3000 or $4000.

However, there’s no exact number.

This is something that heavily depends on your budget and the equipment you purchase.

If you’re looking to build a small recording studio, obviously the price will be lower.

What Do You Need for a Home Studio Setup?

Regardless of whether you want something more professional but still a simple home recording studio, or you just want to build a basic bedroom recording studio, the equipment you need remains the same.

I highly recommend you make a recording studio equipment list for things you plan to buy, and check items off of that list as you purchase them.

Below is a comprehensive list of ideal music production equipment for beginners.

1. A Computer

Any Mac or Windows computer with a powerful processor and at least 8GB of RAM is necessary.

2. An External Hard Drive or Solid State Drive

Most computers will run out of space quickly with music project files and plugins.

An external hard drive is a good place to store your projects and stay organized.

3. A Digital Audio Workstation, or DAW

This is recording studio software that you will use to make your music with.

Great options include Ableton Live (Mac and Windows), Logic Pro X (Mac), and FL Studio (Mac and Windows).

4. An Audio Interface

This item is what you plug microphones or instrument cables into in order to get your sound to go into your computer.

A great quality yet affordable option is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4.

5. Headphones

A high quality pair of headphones, like the Audio Technica M20x, are necessary.

6. Studio Monitors

These can get expensive, but they’re even more necessary than headphones.

A decently cheap pair that works well for beginners is the KRK ROKIT.

6.1. Studio Monitor Stands

You set your studio monitors on these to put them at the appropriate height so they’re at ear level with you.


7. A MIDI Keyboard

This is a keyboard that plugs into your computer and enables you to play virtual instruments in your DAW.

A very popular beginner model is the Akai MPK Mini MKII.

If you’re a serious piano player, however, you might want something with more keys or weighted keys, like the M-Audio Keystation 88 or the Novation Impulse 49.

8. A Microphone

If you plan on recording vocals or instruments like guitar or bass, you’ll need a microphone.

One of my favorites is the Rode NT2-A.

8.1. A Pop Filter

This is a screen that goes between your mouth and the microphone to prevent popping noises from when you say your “p” or “t” sounds.

8.2. A Reflection Filter

A reflection filter goes behind the microphone and works to prevent sound from going out farther into your recording studio room and bouncing off of walls.

8.3. A Microphone Stand

This is self explanatory, it holds the microphone.

8.4. A Shock Mount

A shock mount stabilizes the microphone in the stand.

9. XLR Cables

These cables are what you’ll use to connect the microphone to the audio interface.

10. Instrument Cables

You’ll use these to plug a guitar or guitar amp into the audio interface.

11. A Desk

Make sure you choose one that’s big enough to hold the computer, monitors, MIDI keyboard, and audio interface.

12. A Chair

Find one that you’re comfortable sitting in for long periods of time in front of your computer.

13. Acoustic Panels, Diffuser Panels, and Bass Traps

These are one of the most important things you’ll need for a studio, as they directly affect the sound that you hear.

They can get pretty expensive but there are a few different companies that sell acoustic treatment packages with these items in them, which is usually cheaper than buying each piece separately.

Choosing a Room for Your Home Recording Studio

An ideal room for a recording studio is one that is big. The bigger the better.

This allows for more room for gear and musicians, but a bigger room also provides you with better sound.

Not only should you choose a big room, but you should also choose one that is quiet.

Things like cars, chirping birds, and other outside noises will pose a problem when you record if your room is not one of the quieter ones in your home.

How to Make a Recording Studio in Your Room?
  1. Take everything out of the room that you can. Clear up as much floor space as possible, and take down any paintings, posters, or anything else that is on the wall, and get rid of anything that vibrates.
  2. Set up your acoustic panels and bass traps.
  3. Arrange your desk/work area to your liking.
  4. Arrange the rest of your room as you see fit.
Acoustic Treatment for Home Studio
What are Room Acoustics?

Room acoustics are the way sound behaves in an enclosed space.

Acoustic treatment for a home studio, or any studio, is extremely important.

When sound comes out of a speaker, it bounces off of walls or any other objects in its path.

This results in an inaccurate representation of the sound you hear coming out of your monitors, which will directly affect your final mix.

There are three items that you will need for acoustic treatment:

1. Acoustic Panels

– these absorb the mid and high frequencies.

Make sure you get acoustic panels that are 3-4 inches thick, or more.

Panels that are 1-2 inches thick won’t have enough substance to really make an impact on your room.

2. Bass Traps

– these absorb the bass frequencies, but most are porous enough to also absorb mid and high frequencies.

3. Diffusers

– these reflect sound and cause it to spread to different areas of the room.

How to Acoustically Treat a Room?
  1. Analyze your bare room for how much absorption and diffusion you already have.
  2. Mount absorption panels, diffuser panels, and bass traps based on your analysis.

Once you’ve removed everything that you can from your room, it’s time to figure out what you’ll need to do as far as acoustic treatment goes.

Walk around your room, stand in as many areas as you can. Yell, clap, talk, sing, make noise.

Listen carefully to how to sound travels and what it sounds like to you.

You could get one of two outcomes (worst case and best case, respectively), but you’ll probably have a mix of both:

  1. A metallic ringing sound that is harsh and unpleasant to listen to (usually occurs if your room is small and square-shaped).
  2. A mid to large reverb that is pleasant to the ear (usually in large rooms with diffusive objects).

Depending on your harsh-to-pleasant reverb ratio, you’ll need to add the correct amount of acoustic panels and diffusers.

  • If you have more of outcome #1: you need more absorption (more acoustic panels).
  • If you have more of outcome #2: you need less absorption.

Most medium to large sized recording studio rooms don’t need diffusion panels, so you likely will need acoustic panels and bass traps, but you can always experiment with diffusion panels and see if they improve your sound.

Exception 1: A Bedroom Studio

If you’re making a budget recording studio in a small bedroom, it’ll probably already have a fair amount of absorption with all of the items in it.

To manage any extra potential sound issues, a few bass traps should be okay to absorb bass frequencies, which are usually more problematic in small recording studios.

A bedroom studio isn’t ideal because of the low ceilings and small room size, but if that’s all you have to work with, you can still make do.

Exception 2: A Studio Where You Need a Flat Sound for Recording Vocals

If you’re on a small budget, you probably won’t have the money to make a whole vocal recording booth.

If you also plan to use reverb plugins, natural room reverb can cause problems.

In this case, you will need your room to sound drier (less natural reverb).

Having an extra dead/flat/dry room will affect the sound accuracy that comes out of your monitors.

With this trade-off, you’ll probably have to mix mainly with headphones.

The drier you need your room to be, the more absorption panels you’ll need.

Where to Place Acoustic Panels, Diffusers, and Bass Traps?
  • Acoustic panels: on the walls; make sure they’re staggered (panel, skip one, panel, skip one, etc).
  • Diffusers: on the walls, also staggered.
  • Bass traps: in the corners of the walls and where the walls meet.
How to Hang Acoustic Panels, Diffusers, and Bass Traps?

You can purchase specific mounting/hanging hardware for acoustic panels, diffusers, and bass traps.

Audimute has some really reliable acoustic treatment mounting hardware.

Home Recording Studio Design: How to Arrange Your Desk and Room?
The Desk

The general idea of how a desk should be arranged is that the computer is in the center and the studio monitors are on either side of it at ear level.

Everything else should just be laid out in a way that is easiest for you to access each piece of equipment.

Some people use multiple desks, some use just one. Whatever works best for you should be fine.

The Room

Your desk will obviously be the most important part of the room.

Ideally, setting your desk up fairly close to a wall is best, so that the sound from your monitors has a good distance to travel before reflecting off of the opposite wall (or being absorbed by acoustic panels).

As for microphone placement, make sure your microphone is a good distance away from the desk in order to avoid picking up the sound of the computer fan.

If you have a guitar amp in the room, make sure it’s also away from the microphone to prevent any interference from the electromagnetic waves that the amp gives off.

Keep in mind whether you’ll be recording and making music by yourself or if you’ll be doing it with other people as well, as this will affect your decision on where to place things in your studio.

Keep watch for some future blog posts on further recording studio ideas and design.

Recording Studio Software: DAWs, Effects Plugins, and Virtual Instruments
DAWs

As far as recording studio software goes, digital audio workstations, or DAWs, are where all the magic happens.

It’s where you record your tracks, mix, and master.

Some DAWs are better for certain genres, some are good for pretty much anything.

Since you’ll be spending pretty much all of your time in a DAW, make sure you find one that suits your needs.

Keep in mind that all of these DAWs have a learning curve.

Some popular DAWs include:

  • Pro Tools by Avid (A big industry standard, great for most genres)
  • FL Studio by Image Line (Best for electronic and hip hop music)
  • Live by Ableton (Extremely versatile, great for any genre, but excels in electronic and hip hop)
  • Logic Pro X by Apple (Good for most genres)
  • Cubase by Steinberg (Good for electronic and hip hop music)
  • Reason by Propellerhead (Has a very analog look to it, very straightforward)
  • Cakewalk by Sonar (Lots of built in instruments, good for any genre)
  • Studio One by PreSonus (Kind of a mix between Logic, Cakewalk, and FL Studio)
  • Samplitude by MAGIX (A good basic DAW)

If you’re on a really tight budget, there’s a decent DAW called Reaper, which has a free trial.

Once the free trial ends, a notification box pops up every time Reaper is started up, asking you to buy the full version.

However, it only stays up for 5 seconds and then you can continue using Reaper and all of its features.

So if you don’t mind the pop up window at the start, Reaper will do.

Effects Plugins
What are plugins?

Plugins are software devices that manipulate how an audio signal sounds.

What are plugins for?

Plugins are for composing, recording, and manipulating how audio sounds.

Types of effects plugins include:

  • Time-based effects (Reverb, delay, echo)
  • Spectral effects (EQ, panning)
  • Modulation effects (Flanger, phaser, tremolo, chorus)
  • Dynamic effects (Compression, distortion)
  • Filters

To use an effect plugin, add it to the track of your choice in your DAW, and tailor the settings to your liking.

The order you put your effects in will change up the sound.

Some of the industry standard plugins are sold by Waves, Universal Audio, and FabFilter, although there are also plenty of less expensive (and free) plugins out there.

Most DAWs come with stock effects as well.

Virtual Instruments

Virtual instruments are exactly what they sound like: instruments that you can play on your computer, in your DAW (or sometimes without a DAW if the instrument has a standalone version).

There are virtual guitars, pianos, synthesizers, brass instruments, percussive instruments, strings… pretty much anything you can imagine.

Virtual instruments are a lot like plugins in the sense that you add them into the effects chain of individual tracks in your DAW.

You can purchase virtual instruments online; there are plenty of websites that have extremely realistic instruments including 8DIO, Native Instruments, and Spectrasonics.

Some popular virtual instruments include:

Recording Methods
  • Microphone to audio interface
  • Amp or instrument plugged directly into audio interface
  • Mic’d amp or instrument to audio interface
  • MIDI keyboard directly to DAW
Important Concepts and Terms to Remember
  • Mixing: combining different instruments into channels and using audio effects to process them.
  • Stereo: a two-channel audio signal.
  • Mono: a one-channel audio signal.
  • Clipping: a form of waveform distortion caused when a digital system or amplifier is pushed past its maximum limits.
  • Gain staging: making sure the level of each instrument going into the signal chain is relatively the same as when it comes out of the signal chain.
  • Signal/effects chain: the path an audio source goes through to reach the master output track on your computer.
  • Headroom: how much volume you have before the master track starts to clip.
  • Leveling: balancing the volumes of each track.
  • EQ: a hardware or software effect that allows specific frequencies to be increased or decreased.
  • High pass filter: an EQ curve allowing all the high frequencies to pass through.
  • Low pass filter: an EQ curve allowing all the low frequencies to pass through.
  • Panning: the distribution of a sound in a stereo sound field.
  • Compression: a hardware or software effect that reduces the volume of a waveform when it reaches a certain level in volume.
  • Reverb: the effect produced after sounds bounce off of different objects.
  • Delay: a hardware or software plugin that delays when audio is played through it.
  • Saturation: a subtle form of distortion that is pleasing to the ears.
  • Distortion: an audio effect that creates a (potentially unwanted) fuzzy sound.
  • Stereo imaging: refers to space in a mix.
  • Sidechaining/sidechain compression: compression that is triggered by another source of audio.
  • Automation: input information that can be used to control specific parameters of different effects.
The Whole Production Process

If you’re looking to be hands on in the complete production of a song, from its very start to the very end of it, this is basically how a generic production process would go if you were to break it down in an organized fashion:

  1. Composing
  2. Recording
  3. Editing
  4. Arranging
  5. Mixing
  6. Mastering
Composing

In the composition stage, you would write your lyrics, music, etc, and basically come up with all the melodies and riffs.

For a lot of people, composing happens throughout the creation of a track, not just a pre-recording thing.

Recording

Obviously in this stage, you would record your instruments, vocals, and anything else you might want to put in the track that would..

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In this guide, we’re reviewing some of the best baritone ukuleles on the market, as well as diving into specifics in our baritone ukulele reviews.

We’re also going into plenty of details about this unique variation of the Ukulele.

What is the Best Baritone Ukulele?

In our opinion, the best baritone ukulele on the market is the Kala KA-SA-B.

It features amazing sound, stunning look, as well as feels great to play.

The best option for beginners would arguably be the Kala KA-B as it comes at a great price and can be purchased as a bundle.

The next uke which is definitely worth your attention is the Oscar Schmidt OU52-A-U.

This 4-string baritone ukulele falls under best value for money category.

It has a lovely tone with a beautiful resonant sound and also comes at a very affordable price.

What Is A Baritone Ukulele?

Out of all four main types of ukulele, baritones are the biggest of the lot, and the deepest in terms of tone.

They’re also the newest creation out of all of the variations, dating back to roughly the 1940s when they started to become mainstay.

Baritone Ukuleles may not historically be the most popular form of Uke, but they’re certainly growing a larger fan base in recent years, for many reasons.

Baritone Ukuleles are popular for a thicker, fuller sound which fills more of the “low end”, think more of a bassy tone than the other models.

Though they are certainly not as low as a bass guitar would be, they are similar in tone to the low strings of a classical or “spanish” guitar.

The sound you may first expect when someone says the word “ukulele” is probably not that of a baritone.

For that reason, they are great options for anyone looking for something more specialist.

If you’ve seen a baritone ukulele used, you may well have noted the size of it.

29 inches is the standard size for these types of instruments.

Some are a little larger or a little smaller, and of course there are slight variations in the shape, too, but generally, they will be around this mark.

Who Are Baritone Ukuleles For?

Baritone ukuleles have more similarities with guitars than other Ukuleles do.

Whereas ukes are often tuned to GCEA, the baritone is usually tuned to DGBE.

Guitarists out there may have already spotted that these are traditionally the first four strings of the guitar.

For this reason, baritones are easier to transition to for those who have played one of these instruments.

The chord shapes are the same, just without the lowest two strings.

If you have played other types of ukuleles and wish to keep to the GCEA tuning, this may involve changing some strings, but it can be done.

In terms of those most likely to play these types of instruments, and where they fit in to band setups, it is a real case of personal preference.

There are some great youtubers out there doing solo performances with baritone ukes.

Whereas a Soprano ukulele, for example, may sound a little “thin” on its own, the baritone options cover more frequencies.

This “thicker” sound enables it to be used in solo performances.

For bands, whether folk or otherwise, this type of ukulele can sit nicely in songs as a rhythm section instrument, playing chords and driving the track along.

The rich tone of a baritone ukulele is also often favored by jazz players.

Is Baritone Ukulele Good For Beginners?

There is no reason you can’t learn on a baritone model, but there are some areas to be wary of if you plan to go down this route.

If you are an absolute beginner and plan to learn ukulele on a Baritone, you should definitely be careful with the tuning factor.

If you ever wish to move to a tenor or soprano ukulele, for instance, you will need to revert to the traditional GCEA ukulele tuning.

This will effectively be like learning your instrument all over again.

If you have large hands, you may find the baritone ukulele is easier to maneuver around, there is more room between the frets, which are naturally larger.

It will feel more natural to someone with a bigger build.

Sometimes the smaller models can feel like you are trying to contort your fingers to do something they’re not really capable of.

In this respect, baritone ukuleles are a good choice for beginners.

How Much Does A Baritone Ukulele Cost?

The answer “how long is a piece of string?” would be a cop out, admittedly, but it is an appropriate sentiment as a response to the question of how much baritone ukuleles cost.

In truth, a good quality baritone ukulele can cost upwards of $500, but this is on the more professional end of the spectrum.

If you are looking for a cheaper ukulele, you can find products for around the $100 to $200 mark.

These aren’t always the best quality, hence our reviews, designed to weed out some of the products which may not do the best job for your needs.

We’ve even got sections for the best baritone ukulele under $100 and the best baritone ukulele under $200 to help you make the right choice for your budget.

Best Baritone Ukulele Brands

Whichever type of ukulele you are looking to buy, there are certain brand names which crop up again and again.

Kala is a name you will very quickly become familiar with, and they offer more baritone ukuleles than any other brand on the market.

You may well expect them to be the industry leaders, with such a rich, Hawaiian history.

Their product range extends from value-for-money beginner models all the way to top-of-the-line ukuleles suitable for performance and recording.

Other brands seen regularly in the search for baritone ukuleles include Luna, another Hawaiian manufacturer, and Oscar Schmidt, an American company which has been functioning for almost 150 years, making guitars, ukes and even autoharps.

Believe it or not, the company started out selling door-to-door.

They have come a long way, offering some impressive baritone models.

There are fewer baritone ukuleles on the market in comparison to concert, soprano or tenor ukes, due to the slightly more specialist nature of the product.

That said, we were not short of great options when compiling this list.

Top 6 Best Baritone Ukulele Reviews

On to our baritone ukulele reviews.

We have considered every aspect of the buying process and the wide variety of consumers looking for a ukulele in our reviews.

Whether you just want a cheap baritone ukulele which will do a decent job, or want the best sounding baritone ukulele there is, we have recommendations based on your individual needs.

Here are the top 6 best baritone ukuleles for 2019:

Cordoba 20BM

Cordoba is a brand which manufactures many ukuleles in the other sizes, but the 20BM model is their first foray into baritone.

This is a ukulele with a rich sound, which is deeper than some of the other baritone ukes we’ve played.

Whether this is a good thing or not is down to personal preference.

The Cordoba is made out of mahogany wood, and has a beautiful natural wooden pattern.

Sitting somewhere in the mid-range, this is one of the best ukuleles under $300.

People who have purchased this uke tend to complement the incredible build quality.

A natural wooden inlay rosette, and a satin finish, combined with a detailed rosewood fingerboard, make it comfortable and beautiful to play.

The mahogany wood is reminiscent of “Martin” branded guitars and ukuleles, a brand renowned for their quality.

This is a ukulele which also holds up well under the pressure of different tunings.

Cordoba know that people have their own preferences for tuning ukes, especially baritone, and the tonal qualities remain the same whether you shift to a traditional ukulele tuning or go for the DGBE tuning most baritones have.

Finding a solid mahogany baritone ukulele at this sort of price range is not an easy thing to do, so the Cordoba 20BM definitely deserves its place on our list.

  • High quality Aquila strings included, ready to be tuned to DGBE.
  • Made from good quality mahogany wood.
  • Comes with pearl fret inlays.
  • Natural feeling action, great for players with larger hands.
Lanikai ACST-B

This ukulele certainly fits the bill in terms of the romantic image of ukuleles.

The company, while smaller than many of the others on this list, is based in Hawaii and named after a beach, the perfect setting for playing this gorgeous baritone model.

The Lanikai brand describes their products as “real ukuleles for real musicians” and we’d be hard pressed to argue.

The Lanikai may not be cheap, but it is a good quality product that you could absolutely use as a touring, professional musician.

It has an incredibly rich tone, and can be played as a solo instrument without sounding like something is missing.

The body of this uke is made out of acacia. This wood has been carefully selected in order to give a traditional and classical baritone sound.

One word used again and again to describe this particular ukulele is “mellow” as the tone is sweet and rich whether you are playing chords or melodies.

Lovers of this model have also paid tribute to the bass frequencies it throws out, giving a broader spectrum of sound than some of its competitors.

Though this can often be picked up for under $300, it may seem a little expensive for what it is.

It doesn’t use mahogany wood, for instance. However, the build quality and sound are what really matters, and the clever use of acacia gives it a tone which sounds perfect around a Hawaii campfire.

The ACST-B has quite a wide neck, and a wider nut than is normal.

This is great if you have larger hands or feel you need a bit more space when fretting.

The fingerboard is easy to maneuver your way around and feels great to play.

  • Extremely responsive and sturdy walnut fingerboard.
  • Holds tune brilliantly due to its chrome die-cast tuning peg system.
  • Maple binding gives a lovely look to the ukulele, along with its natural finish.
  • Can be a little on the large side for those used to smaller ukuleles.
Oscar Schmidt OU52-A-U

Two Oscar Schmidt ukuleles make our list, and this is the more affordable of the two.

The OU52-A-U (catchy title, I know) has a really traditional look, with a mahogany body and even an Aloha engraving on the headstock.

Oscar Schmidt is a brand which stands for quality, and even though this is what you could describe as a cheap baritone ukulele, certainly when compared to the rest of their range, it does have enough features to be a solid option for beginners and maybe even intermediate players.

The sound is certainly a big positive, with great clarity, crisp high end and a lovely resonance on the low end which rings out impressively.

The sound maybe doesn’t rival their professional models, but it is more than good enough considering the price range.

This is another top option under the $150 mark.

Perhaps the best way to describe this is a good all-round option.

Especially popular among beginners, it is a great way to enjoy a wonderful brand who offer some impressive craftsmanship without having to spend the earth.

Think of this as the ‘basic’ version in their line.

It isn’t perfect, but it certainly gets the job done with a good tone, and only a few minor bugbears.

For the price tag, it’s almost impossible to complain.

  • Lovely tone with a beautiful resonant sound.
  • Comfortable action.
  • Affordable way to enjoy the Oscar Schmidt craftsmanship and sound.
  • Some users have criticised the tuning pegs, and reported that this ukulele can be prone to a bit of fret buzz.
  • The binding and woodwork is perhaps not as clean cut as other models in their range.
Oscar Schmidt OU57

This is a model which is certainly an upgrade on its ‘little brother’ model.

Not only is it an upgrade in terms of sound, it is definitely a big jump in price, so it is fair to say the OU57 caters to a more mid-range to professional level player.

It has an interesting construction, being made from both Abalone and Spalted Mango, which certainly create an interesting and compelling look.

It also offers a rosewood fretboard, which is pretty standard for this type of product.

It has a lovely gloss finish which provides a clean cut, professional look.

The tuning pegs of this model are worth mentioning, certainly as its more affordable “sibling” product maybe fall a little short in this area.

The grover machines do a wonderful tuning job, and keep it in tune for a long time.

No tuning up mid-gig or mid-song!

Is this the best baritone ukulele under $500? Perhaps not.

Is it a great option for someone upgrading from a beginner model? Absolutely.

  • Rich tones and great Oscar Schmidt workmanship.
  • A classical guitar style sound when finger picked, opening up a world of possibilities for playing classical style songs.
  • A great, easy action for beginners and professionals alike.
  • Because the nut is made from synthetic bone, there are sometimes some sharp edges.
  • Some users believe you can get more for your money from other brands.
Kala KA-B

Not only is this a very good baritone ukulele, it is arguably the most popular and most widely reviewed on the market.

It is little wonder why, when you look at its features and reliability.

It was only a matter of time before we featured a Kala product on this list.

It is tough to make any list of top ukuleles without the brand coming up, which is testament to their amazing range of instruments.

Perhaps one of the reasons that the KA-B is one of the most popular baritone ukes is the fact that it can be purchased as a bundle.

For beginners, or people who play other instruments and wish to give the baritone ukulele a shot, this can be a big advantage.

Not many baritones come with a case included, especially due to their unusual shape.

Along with the case, this comes with tuner and even a DVD instructing you on getting started with your new ukulele.

The reason this is perhaps the best baritone ukulele for the money is not just its bundle though.

The ukulele itself is wonderfully constructed.

The whole of the Kala range is made of Satin Mahogany, which gives it an exceptional, clean tone.

It is rugged and can stand up to the rigours of all those hours of playing and practicing.

The satin finish and beautiful walnut fretboard complete a really great design at a price which shouldn’t be too scary, even if you’re just getting started.

  • Great for beginners, with instructional DVD and an affordable price tag.
  • Comes with a gig bag, a rarity for baritone ukuleles.
  • Solid mahogany construction by Kala.
  • A few users have reported slight issues with fret buzz, but this seems to be extremely rare.
  • Not quite the professional sound of some of the more expensive Kala and other brand ukes.
Kala KA-SA-B

Well, you probably came to this guide in search of the best, and I think that with this ukulele you’re probably pretty close to the best you’re going to get.

The Kala range’s elite model, the KA-SA-B.

This is made from acacia, which is a wood known to create a great baritone ukulele sound.

It looks a lot like koa, which is a wood known to be used widely in Hawaii when making ukes.

This product is actually made in San Francisco.

The detailing on the body is out of this world. If you go in for looks when it comes to your instruments, this is definitely a product which is worth your attention.

The incredible mahogany grain neck and body are look wonderful enough, but the detailing on the walnut fingerboard round off a classy appearance.

The sound is just as classy. The baritone design is rich and sounds very full when playing chords, but it also sounds nice when finger picking or playing melodies and riffs.

Some ukuleles just feel great to play, and we’d put the KA-SA-B in that category too.

You can tell you’re holding a well-made piece of kit when it is in your hands.

  • Acacia body gives an excellent sound.
  • Fingerboard feels professional and easy to play, as well as having stunning detailing.
  • The neck and action of this ukulele are great for lots of different hand shapes and sizes.
  • A bit on the pricey side.
  • Doesn’t come with a case or other accessories.
Bag It Up

Before we wrap up this guide, one vital piece of advice to pass on involves the safety of your ukulele.

With many of the smaller types of uke, there are models sold with bags included.

Unfortunately, perhaps due to the more unorthodox size of the baritone models, there are nowhere near as many which include any form of bag or case.

While you don’t have to have a bag, it makes sense for most players.

At some point in time, you’re going to want to take your uke out and about with you, and a bag, or preferably a hardshell case, can do the job of protecting your beloved instrument.

It may seem like a basic piece of advice, but you wouldn’t be the first musician to spend $500 on an instrument and then carry it around without adequate protection.

A case or bag is an investment, which can ensure nothing happens to your ukulele when on its travels (or at least minimize the chances).

If you’re touring, even on a small scale, and your instrument is spending a lot of time in the trunk of a car or truck, then a case is nothing short of essential.

Conclusion

While we’ve listed the Kala KA-SA-B as our best choice for baritone ukuleles, the truth is that there is a decent amount of choice.

In spite of a relatively small market due to the fact the instrument is not the most popular out there.

However, this isn’t restrictive to potential buyers.

There are perfect options for beginners, intermediates and professionals.

As always..

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If you are a beginner or you want to get back to an old hobby of playing the piano, Yamaha P-45 is something you must consider.

This is a budget digital piano that comes sharing great functions that give any beginner the best playing experience.

It has everything you need right from the box although for your convenience you can purchase a few things as you will see in the Yamaha P-45 digital piano review.

Comprehensive Yamaha P-45 Review Design

The P-45 comes with a compact and lightweight design identical to that of its predecessor the P-35.

It measures 52.2 X 11.6 X 6 inches and weighs 25lbs making it easy to carry even by one person.

It can easily fit in a small space and act as a great addition to your home décor.

The piano doesn’t have a stand (until you buy it as a bundle), therefore, you can place it on a table or buy a stand for its stability.

Yamaha P-45 controls are very straightforward and simple to understand.

It includes a power button that turns the piano on and off and a function button that you can use to select the sounds and other features in the instrument.

To change the functions you need to press the function button and a piano key as labeled above them to select the sounds, adjust touch sensitivity, metronome tempo among others.

This is simple and commons navigation especially on entry digital pianos.

With this simple design, anyone looking for an instrument that can be easily moved around will greatly appreciate it.

It will easily fit in most cars so taking it to gigs or on road trips will be easy as well.

It is good to note that if you are planning for long trips especially by planes or trains you should keep carrying it in a bag with an added cushions is to prevent breakage.

Keyboard

Yamaha P-45 has full-size weighted keyboard known as the graded hammer standard (GHS).

This is one of the most affordable hammer action found in most of the entry Yamaha pianos.

The action gives you the experience and feels similar to that of an acoustic piano.

It replicates the hammer action found in an acoustic utilizing the little hammer inside the instrument instead of springs.

The instrument also comes with weighted action where it is light at the high-end and heavy at the low end just like a real piano.

It also comes with touch-sensitive with the volume changing by how soft or hard you press the keys.

On this, you will find four preset settings that help your playing style.

This includes the soft, medium, hard and fixed settings.

With fixed setting, you produce the same amount of sounds regardless of how hard or soft you press the keys.

The hard setting enables you to produce the loudest sound by pressing the keys very hard.

The piano black key tops have the matte finish to prevent your fingers from slipping off when playing and the white keys are plastic with a glossy finish as the other digital pianos.

The keyboard produces less noise that can be noticed when you listen via headphones or at low volume.

Sound

The P-45 sound sample is captured with the AWM dynamic sampling technology to produce accurate and high-quality samples.

Its stereo sound is recorded from a full concert grand piano that has different dynamics.

It also comes with 10 instrument sounds which include grand pianos, electric pianos, vibraphones, strings pipe organs, and harpsichords.

These are basic sounds which would satisfy most players, but it might not be enough to others who are looking for a variety to create music.

The instrument has features where you can adjust the sound’s depth and even add reverberation effect with the hall 1, hall 2, room and stage reverb types.

Speakers

Yamaha P-45 comes with 2 built-in speakers that measure 12X12 cm each producing 6W amp.

The speakers produce decent quality sound especially when you consider the size of the instrument and doesn’t distort even in the max volume.

The produced sound loud enough to perform in a small concert room without the need of external speakers.

However, if you want to play in a larger event or play along with different instruments, you will need an external amplifier.

You can also go for a pair of headphones for a clear and detailed sound especially if you need a great listening experience.

Polyphony

Yamaha P-45 has greatly improved from its predecessor from 32-64 note polyphony.

With this, the piano is able to store twice the memory, therefore, allowing fuller and richer sound.

You can easily play complex music pieces without losing any notes.

Features

The P-45 comes with a basic set of features that greatly satisfy beginner and intermediate players. They include the:

Metronome

The digital piano comes with a built-in metronome that counts your practice scales and arpeggios.

This feature enables you to develop a fundamental skill of sense of rhythm and timekeeping.

With it, you can easily adjust the beat, tempo and metronome volume.

Its auto-power off reduces the needless power consumption as it turns off the instrument within the 30 minutes of no operation.

Recording

Yamaha-P-45 comes with a USB MIDI connection that enables you to record and playback your performances.

With the USB connector, you can record an audio file to your computer.

Transpose & Fine Tuning

Transpose feature allows you to reset and change the key you are playing with just a press of a button.

This is very helpful especially if you are playing a song written with different keys where you can easily shift without the need to pause or get distracted during the playing.

The instrument also comes with fine tuning function which allows you to raise and lower the pitch to match your preference.

Modes
  • Duo mode

    This splits the keyboard into two sections giving you the same pitch range.

    Using the mode you can sit side by side with another person and play the same note at the same time.

    This feature is normally used by teachers where they sit next to their students and play the same tune while they follow on the other part.

  • Dual Mode

    The dual mode enables you to stack two presets to sound simultaneous across the keyboard range.

    For instance, you can layer the piano sound with a pipe organ to create a new interesting sound.

    This feature also enables you to adjust the volume of each preset to fit your preference.

Connectivity

Yamaha P-45 comes with all the necessary jacks and ports that enables its connection to external devices. This includes:

USB Terminal

Instead of the MIDI – MIDI port, the piano comes with a USB – Host port for more convenience.

With this, you can easily transfer data to external devices.

You can connect the instrument to your PC with A-B USB cable (which is quite easy to obtain).

This enables the piano to act as a MIDI controller and take advantage of different music apps out there.

This assists you in learning how to compose, record and edit your performances and do other fun stuff that the keyboard alone cannot offer.

Sustain Pedal

Here you are able to connect the instrument with sustain pedal to get a more realistic playing experience.

Headphones

If you are in a noise-sensitive environment, you can easily practice in private by plugging in a pair of headphones in the ¼’’ stereo jack.

This automatically shuts off the exterior speakers, therefore, enabling you to play anytime without disturbing others.

You can also use this jack port to connect to an external amplifier or speakers.

Accessories Stand

The P-45 comes with 2 stand options* that you can consider:

  1. First, you can go with the portable X-type stand that works quite well with the digital piano.

    This stand is very portable and can be of great help if you love moving around often.

  2. The second option is the furniture stand, a stationary solution for those who don’t move with the piano often.

    You can use the wooden L-85 stand that goes for only around $100 which fits perfectly with the P-45.

*There’s also a Z-style stand available, you can find it in some bundles.

Get a Sustain Pedal

Here, you can buy the Yamaha FC5 sustain pedal that works quite nice with your instrument.

The pedal is plastic box like, which is a bit different from the acoustic one.

If you prefer a more authentic one, go for a more substantial and realistic like the M-Audio SP-2 pedal an affordable and durable option with metal construction and has the feel of a real piano pedal.

Other Accessories

Other accessories include headphones that help you in providing clear and detailed sound that the built-in speakers cannot produce.

There is also case especially if you want to often carry around your instrument.

Look for a case that has some kind of protection that prevents the piano from damage during transportation.

The Pros and Cons of The Yamaha P-45
  • Has a lightweight and compact design
  • It’s easy to use
  • Comes with 10 realistic sounds
  • Very affordable
  • Speakers are not loud enough
  • There is no built-in recorder
Yamaha P-45 vs. Yamaha P-71

You might have noticed a new digital piano in the market the P-71.

There is seemingly no information out there about it and many people are asking about its difference from the P-45.

Shockingly there is no difference between the two as you can see in Yamaha P-71 reviews out there.

These two are identical in everything. The only thing to note is that the P-71 (P71) is an Amazon Exclusive.

Yamaha P71 (Amazon-Exclusive)

So if you might be struggling with which piano to go with between the two, just pick one and I guarantee you will get the same features and experience.

Yamaha P-45 vs. Yamaha P-115

The P-115 and P-45 comes with almost similar prices and at times it’s confusing what to go for.

Their features are almost identical and specs but the P-115 is a bit higher with a bigger width.

Another difference is that the P-115 comes with a matte finish that is a bit smooth giving it an added authenticity than the P-45.

It also has 14 voices and 192 polyphony making it much more capable to play more complex pieces.

Check our full Yamaha P-115 digital piano review to get a better idea of what this instrument has to offer.

Conclusion

Yamaha P-45 has come a step closer towards making an impeccable entry-level digital piano.

This is a great instrument shares many features with the P-35, its predecessor with even more upgraded specs increasing what it offers to the players.

It makes leaning easier with features like weighted 88 that shows you the finger positioning and strength techniques that will play a significant role in your musical journey.

With its portable design, a student can easily carry it around from home to practice rooms.

Even with that, the piano lacks other features like the MIDI recorder accompaniment function and lesson mode that are equally important to beginners.

All in all, Yamaha P-45 is a great choice if you are looking for a simple and inexpensive digital piano with full-weighted keys and a realistic sound.

The post Yamaha P-45 Review & A Comparison Against Similar Models appeared first on Consordini.com.

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Have you ever been in a position that left you wondering which piano is the best fit for you?

Well, it is easy to be confused with the two available options, digital and acoustic that comes in a thousand forms.

Price is mostly the first thing that will dictate your choice, but does it stops there?

No! I believe there are several other things you should take into consideration just before you decide what to go for.

This does not always go easy, especially if you are a beginner, and you know almost nothing about the pianos.

As a pianist, I am aware of your predicaments. Therefore, I have narrowed down your choices and explained the key things you need to know about digital and acoustic pianos.

Acoustic Piano

A quality acoustic piano produces sounds from real strings and real wood, offering dynamics and a tone color that even the best digital piano cannot match.

Now, this should be a dream goal for every beginner.

You should always count yourself lucky if you get the opportunity to play, and practice on the instrument with such musical responsiveness.

An acoustic piano can come in either upright or grand piano.

An upright piano has a compact body that fits comfortably in houses making it a convenient choice for a regular person to own one.

The pianos strings run vertically, and its keys are reset through a spring mechanism, therefore subjecting it to wear and tear.

A grand piano has a more extended body, which has strings and frame that spreads horizontally.

Due to its body size, the piano takes a lot more space as compared to an upright one.

Its keys are brought back to their resting position by a gravity reset after playing and releasing them.

Another factor that distinguishes between the two is the Inharmonicity.

This is the degree to which frequencies overtone sounds higher than its primary frequency.

Low inharmonicity, therefore, means more accuracy.

The grand piano gives less inharmonicity and more vibrant tone due to their longer strings.

Upright pianos on the other hands, comes with more inharmonicity due to their shorter strings.

This, however, does not mark the upright piano as inferior because several other things are used to determine the sound quality.

Digital Piano

Digital pianos are designed to feel and sound as much acoustic as possible.

It’s designed to produce sound digitally: when a key is pressed, a previously recorded sound from acoustic piano will play in a speaker.

Some digital piano goes even further to having their keys weighted, to provide the right touch resistance, and are sensitive to pressure and speed, therefore, giving a range of dynamics (soft and loud).

Note! For more information on weighted keyboards, refer to our another article that discusses some of the best digital pianos with weighted keys.

The pianos are installed in cabinet-style consoles that are smaller as compared to the upright piano.

Digital piano can come in three types namely upright, grand and portable pianos.

The grand digital piano has a high-quality sound system, and its keys have a better touch as compared to others.

The upright piano, commonly used in homes, has a similar size as the acoustic counterpart but weighs less.

The portable piano comes with a stand rather than the cabin-style console making it the lightest of the three.

It also comes with plastic keys and exterior.

Acoustic vs. Digital Piano

So we have an idea of both types and how they function.

Now, let’s put them side by side and get a deeper understanding of how they differ in their functions and properties.

Touch and Feel

The acoustic and digital piano has a very different touch and feel.

The acoustic pianos keys are weighted, and they require a bit of strength when striking them.

Now, for digital pianos, they can produce a sound even when they are gently pressed.

This has led many manufacturers to introduce weighted keys on the pianos to mimic that of an acoustic piano.

Acoustic pianos are also very sensitive to touch and can produce different shades of sounds when you use different strength and movement.

This is very different to digital pianos, and only finite number of tones can be generated.

Many pianists find this as a drawback that limits them to express their music fully.

Sound

Sound is one of the crucial factors that should be considered when deciding which piano is the best fit for you.

As you would have thought, the acoustic piano has the best sound quality that is produced when a hammer strikes the string.

It gives you the control of the expression and articulation of the musical notes therefor generating a warmer and a more resonate notes.

A digital piano, on the other hand, has a digital file sound that mimics that of the acoustic piano.

The piano does not allow the same acoustic nuisance.

Even so, a high-end digital piano can have a better sound compared to that of a low-end acoustic piano.

Maintenance

Acoustic pianos need more maintenance as compared to digital pianos, due to their delicate features, such as exterior, hammer felt, and steel strings.

With an acoustic piano, you have to be mindful by keeping it in tune and under considerable temperatures and humidity fluctuations.

Price

Generally, acoustic pianos are very expensive: a quality acoustic piano ranges somewhere between $4000 – $10000.

On the other hand, you can get a quality digital piano with as low as $1000.

Their resale value differs, where, an acoustic piano retains a high resale value and the digital piano depreciates much quicker due to many, more advanced models that are released every year.

It can, therefore, be a wise idea to invest on the acoustic piano if you want a long-term investment.

Utility and Portability

Even though the digital pianos may lack a lot, regarding sound and other features, they may have a few additional features that make them versatile.

This includes:

Portability – they come in different sizes that are easy to move around as compared to acoustic pianos.

This makes them a perfect choice for performances.

Volume control – the digital pianos have volume adjustment knob and headphones output.

This allows the players to practice without bothering others (best choice if you live with other people or in a room with thin walls).

An acoustic piano can also be adjusted based on how long and hard you have pressed the keys.

This, however, might not be as effective as that of a digital piano.

Recording – most of the digital pianos have a port that can connect it to a computer allowing the playing to be recorded and stored as digital files.

Which Piano To Choose Then?

The answer to this question is extremely personal and can change from one person to another.

To be clear, let’s take the case studies of Jack, a high school student who wants a piano to play his favorite songs to a girl in his school.

Jennifer, a lady who lives nearby, wants to take serious piano classes.

Steph in her late 20s and Jakes, a retiree who wants to start a new hobby.

They are all faced with the same dilemma – digital or acoustic.

The perfect choice for each is different even though they are all beginners.

A number of reasons will dictate this, and that’s why we came up with simple solutions for our case studies.

Their Budget

Taking Jack, for example, he is likely to be on a tight budget and might consider going with a digital piano.

There are digital pianos that are available for less than $500 and considering he is a high school student; he needs that in order save up for college.

The pianos also have little or no maintenance cost. Therefore, it will save him hundreds of dollars extra cost.

A Long-Term Investment

Jennifer a mother of 3, works five days a week from 9 to 5.

She is serious about learning the piano and hopes to take piano exams after two years and plans to take the piano lessons during the weekends.

She also wants her children to learn the piano in the near future.

Most of the exams in her area are allowed to be played only on acoustic pianos, and it would be best for her to practice on the acoustic one.

She also doesn’t have to worry about disturbing others with excessive noise because she is practicing during weekends.

Volume Control

Steph is a busy working adult, and mostly she comes home after 8 pm.

She also has a kid who will be asleep by the time she reaches home.

Despite her busy schedule, she wants to learn how to play the piano.

With all her limitations, Steph needs a digital piano with the headphones and noise adjustment features to play after a busy day without disturbing others.

If you are like Steph, you would love to read our digital piano buying guide.

There are plenty of different options reviewed in this guide, so you’ll definitely find the right instrument for your needs and budget.

Space

Mr. Jakes is retired and willing to invest both time and money in his new hobby.

He is also likely to be living alone, or with his spouse, therefore, there is enough space in his home to store an acoustic piano.

The post Digital vs. Acoustic Piano: What to Opt For As a Beginner? appeared first on Consordini.com.

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