Ensoniq KT-88 Digital Keyboard/Synthesizer
At the same time as we were looking for a new piano, we were also considering purchasing an electronic keyboard. As a small church, we wanted access to instrumentation not provided by a piano or organ, especially for some of the more contemporary pieces used in our services. When the piano turned out to be less expensive than anticipated, it enabled us to follow up on the keyboard, and after evaluating the choices, settled on the Ensoniq KT-88. This is a professional-level full functional keyboard, with hundreds of provided sounds ranging from digital pianos to synth pads, string and wind instruments, various bell sounds including handbells and chimes, plus drum sets and ethnic sounds. These sounds are generated similarly to the organ, in that the sounds are recorded digital waveforms. It also has synthesizer capability to create and modify new sounds, and a 16 track sequencer enabling us to supplement live performances with pre-recorded supplemental instrumentation. Both it and the organ have MIDI interfacing, meaning that the instruments can electronically communicate… it is possible connect them to computer control and/or to play keyboard sounds from the organ and vice versa. The keyboard is a very versatile instrument and we frequently make use of it in our services. As part of the package, we procured a 3-input keyboard amplifier to go with it. The amp has been useful for other purposes as well. For example, it served as our main PA system for outdoor worship services during COVID restrictions, connected to the sanctuary sound system (for wireless microphone mixing with keyboard input), and as a facility for playing CD’s for practice and performance of special pieces for Sunday School students.