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Casio WK-7600 Workstation Keyboard Review

The Casio WK-7600 workstation keyboard is packed with innovative features for creating, performing, and recording music. Features include a piano-style velocity sensitive keyboard with 820 built-in, editable sounds, a drawbar organ emulation, a mixer, digital effects, USB MIDI interface, and SDHC card storage. With a built-in multitrack song sequencer, you can record your own MIDI songs.

The front panel has been carefully designed for easy operation. In the center is a large backlit LCD display for editing tones, rhythms, and songs and accessing other features.

Weighing about 18 pounds, WK-7600 is solidly built but portable. It can be powered with the included AC adapter or by six D-size batteries. To increase battery life, the keyboard shuts off automatically after 6 minutes if not played.


Casio WK-7600 Workstation Keyboard

Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

So What Makes It Special?

Casio WK-7600 Workstation Keyboard

The WK-7600 Keyboard

The Casio WK-7600 keyboard has a range of 76 notes, more than 6 octaves. The unweighted keys have a lighter touch than a piano and more like a synthesizer. They’re velocity sensitive, so the tone and volume change as you play harder. Although the keyboard itself doesn’t respond to “aftertouch” key pressure, MIDI aftertouch messages received from the MIDI port will add modulation to a tone. You can play up to 64 notes at the same time, so the WK-7600 should never give you dropped notes, even with the sustain pedal down.

You can transpose the keyboard up or down in half steps as much as an octave to make it easier to play with other instruments or a singer. Also, the keyboard can be fine-tuned up or down from the standard A = 440 pitch as much as a half step, so you’ll always be in tune with other musicians or prerecorded music.


And here’s a cool feature you won’t find everywhere..

You can choose how the keyboard is tuned. Normally it’s set to standard “equal temperament,” with all notes spaced evenly apart. But the WK-7600 keyboard actually makes 16 temperament options available. These include alternate tuning systems like Just Intonation, historical systems including Pythagorean, and more exotic non-Western choices such as Hijaz and Bashti. And if that’s not enough, you can create your own tuning system based on the ones provided.

And that’s not all…

More Special Keyboard Features

With the pitch wheel on the left side of the keyboard, you can bend notes up and down. The range of the pitch wheel can be set anywhere between a half step and two octaves.

The WK-7600 also includes a very flexible built-in arpeggiator that lets you play different arpeggios (broken chords) and phrases simply by holding keys down. You can select from nearly 150 patterns and styles. You can also choose how fast it plays, and whether it starts when you press or release the keys,

The Harmonize/Arpeggiator button also lets you select automatic melody harmonization. Options include added fifths and octaves, or three-note chords in Country, Big Band, and many other styles.

820 Internal Tones

The WK-7600 includes 820 instrument sounds; Casio calls these “tones.” They include acoustic and electric pianos, guitars, strings and other acoustic instruments, synths and drums. You can edit all of them, changing the settings of filters, envelopes, and other settings.

The sound synthesis engine behind the Casio WK-7600 keyboard is referred to as AHL technology. It combines real audio samples to accurately model instrument tones, especially the piano and other acoustic instruments.

Greats sounds, but the wk-7600 can do much more!

In Layered mode, two different tones can be assigned to the keyboard. So, for example, you can hear piano and strings together. Or you can choose the Split mode to divide the keyboard in two. You can choose exactly where you want to make the split, and assign different tones to the upper and lower sections. Finally, a “three tone” mode gives you both: the keyboard is split, and the upper section has two layered tones.

For all of these layered and split modes, you can change the octave and stereo position and add digital effects to each section individually.

A Built-In Drawbar Organ

Press the Drawbar Organ button, and the WK-7600 suddenly becomes a traditional tonewheel organ! The nine front panel sliders control the volume of the different harmonics, just like the real thing. You can add a rotary speaker effect to make the illusion complete.

Accompany yourself with 260 preset and 100 user rhythms…

A great groove is the foundation of any great song. And it’s more fun to jam and come up with new ideas when you have the right rhythmic accompaniment to back you up. The WK-7600 comes to the rescue with Auto Accompaniment and a choice of 260 rhythmic patterns. These rhythms can have as many as eight parts, including drums, percussion, bass, and several chord parts.

A dizzying variety of preset styles is available to choose from, including rock, dance, jazz, country, Latin, and many more. Rhythms include six accompaniment patterns (Intro, Normal, Variation, etc.) so you can create a rhythm track for a complete song. Even better, the WK-7600 provides a Pattern Sequencer so you can create and save 100 custom rhythms.

Professional Sound With Digital Effects

A well-mixed song always includes various effects to sweeten the mix. The WK-7600 delivers with an amazing assortment of high-quality digital effects. First, you can select from among ten reverb and five chorus types to apply to your entire mix or to the microphone and Line inputs. Second, 100 different effects presets are available for you to customize and apply to individual tracks. Effects include compression, tremolo, distortion, delay, rotary speaker, and many more.

Two Recorders For The Price Of One

The WK-7600 includes two recording functions. “Easy Record” lets you simply press Record to start recording your live keyboard performance, including auto-accompaniment, if selected. It records directly to the internal song memory.

There’s also a sophisticated 17-track MIDI song recorder. Each track is assigned its own tone, so you can build very complex and sophisticated arrangements. Advanced features let you insert or delete bars, copy and paste notes or automatically punch in and out. Using onboard memory, you can store and recall up to 5 complete songs, about 30,000 notes.

And here’s something else that’s really great…

With an SDHC memory card installed (up to 32GB), you can also record your live performance or a song sequence as an audio file. One song can be as long as 13 minutes.

Live Mixer With Faders

The Casio WK-7600 includes an onboard mixer so you can balance and tweak your overall sound. Nine front-panel faders let you adjust volume, panning, reverb, and chorus send or other parts of your mix.

Save Multiple Setups In Registration Memory

You can save and quickly recall your keyboard setups via front panel buttons. A setup can include keyboard splits, tones, rhythms, effects, and all system settings. The WK-7600 can store 96 setups in its dedicated registration memory.

Built-In Amplifier And Speakers

The WK-7600 comes with its own stereo amplifier and speakers, so you can make music without needing any other gear. The amp delivers 7 watts per side to six-inch bass and one-inch treble speakers. An onboard equalizer can fine-tune the overall sound with a choice of five presets to cut or boost bass and treble.


In And Out Options

The back of the WK-7600 provides several jacks for connecting optional gear. You can plug a microphone into the Mic In jack, or a guitar or other mono audio source into the Inst In jack. Input levels for both can be adjusted with onboard controls. Finally, a stereo Audio In jack will accept a CD player or an audio mixer.

There’s also a jack for an optional pedal. By default, it’s configured as a normal sustain pedal, but you can customize it to operate as a traditional “sostenuto” pedal, or as a soft pedal. Or it can become a switch to start and stop accompaniment patterns.

A pair of 1/4-inch jacks lets you connect your keyboard to an external keyboard amplifier, or you could connect it to the best powered speakers if you want. There’s also a jack for stereo headphones. Plugging in phones will cut off the speaker output.

With the USB MIDI port, you can connect the WK-7600 keyboard to a computer. This enables you to save your MIDI songs on the computer or play back songs from the computer.

The SDHC card slot on the back will accept a card up to 32GB. It can store your MIDI and audio music files and user data.

More Choices

If you’re not sure if the WK-7600 is the right keyboard for you, please check out our Casio WK-245 review or Casio WK-660 review. Or for more general information, check out our reviews of the best Casio digital keyboards.


Conclusion

The Casio WK-7600 keyboard packs a lot of horsepower into a very reasonably-priced package. It can be a valuable asset on stage, particularly in a duo with a singer, where the keyboardist performs live along with programmed accompaniment.

As a studio tool, its very large sonic palette makes it useful for laying down tracks quickly. Also, because it’s self-contained and can run on batteries, it’s an attractive option for a songwriter needing a portable workstation.

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