Music keyboard with mp3 playback

Liam asked a question about a keyboard which could handle midifiles and mp3 playback:

Hi Kenny,
Liam here, Im on holls at the moment, but when I get back Im thinking of changing my system. Im using a korg i5s and a laptop computer at the moment. This might sound stupid, but I feel really comfortable behing the keyboard (even if i dont play it) I put on a better show from behind the keyboard, its like a comfort zone, so im looking for a keyboard that plays midifiles and mp3….am I asking for too much..I reckon your the man who can tell me if such a machine exists ?

Hi Liam

The keyboard that is most likely to fit the bill for what you’re looking for would probably be something like the Roland RD-300GX which has superb GM sounds and also has an audio player onboard that will play mp3’s.

However it’s not necessarily the way I personally like to work, although I do see and understand why you would want everything to be in the one convenient keyboard.

Personally, I prefer everything to be seperate – not just my keyboards and mp3 players, but amplifiers and speakers too.

I do impress though that this is purely a personal thing, so don’t feel that I am saying that this is the way every keyboard player must work or anything like that!

I just always feel that when you use any all-in-one keyboard (or all-in-one anything), if it breaks down during a gig and you’re pretty much left high and dry.

If all your stuff is seperate then at least you will have enough stuff still working to get you through the gig.

I’d persoanlly spend half of the amount it’ll cost for a keyboard with mp3 playback and just buy a less expensive keyboard which would give me an equally good set of GM sounds (maybe something like the Korg PA500) and use an Apple iPod to play the mp3 files.